NSW has recorded 13 new COVID-19 cases with a cluster linked to a gym in Sydney’s CBD growing to 41 cases.
Of the 13 new cases recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, two are in hotel quarantine, 11 are locally acquired and seven of those are linked to the Sydney CBD cluster associated with the City Tattersalls gym.
One of the new cases connected to the cluster visited the City Tattersalls gym and two worked at Reddam Early Learning Centre in Lindfield with all staff and children who attended the centre considered close contacts and directed to get tested and isolate for 14 days.
Of the other cases reported on Tuesday, one is linked to Liverpool Hospital and three new cases attended St Paul’s Catholic College in Greystanes.
All Year 10 students at the western Sydney school have been identified as close contacts and have been directed to get tested and isolate for 14 days. The school will remain closed for onsite learning while contact tracing is underway.
NSW Health has also directed anyone who dined at It’s Time for Thai restaurant in Newtown on 28 August between 5pm and 8pm to immediately get tested and self-isolate for 14 days.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday announced an easing of the state’s border permit system with Victoria, re-establishing a 50km border buffer zone.
The zone will be expanded from 2.5km on Friday to help border communities go about their lives as normal.
A reduction in new COVID-19 cases in Victoria had made it possible to ease border restrictions, Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday.
“Pandemics are far from perfection when it comes to having to make decisions quickly and can I tell you, hand on heart, that one of the most difficult decisions I’ve made personally and the government has made during this pandemic has been closing the NSW-Victorian border. It was a decision of last resort,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters in Albury.
“One of the main reasons we didn’t move earlier was because we knew the disruption and angst it would cause people in the border communities.
“You don’t see yourselves as a state border, as two communities, but one.”
Restrictions have been in place on the NSW-Victoria border since early July.
NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro has been vigorously agitating for border restrictions to be relaxed after meeting with stakeholders in Albury-Wodonga last week.
On Monday, he called for a national code to allow agricultural workers to cross state borders without permits, and NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall will take part in a national agricultural ministers’ meeting on Tuesday to seek consensus on the code.
This would allow agricultural workers such as fruit pickers to be designated “essential service” workers, allowing them to freely cross state borders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NSW Police officers check cars crossing from Victoria into New South Wales at a border check in Albury, NSW, Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Queensland to stay shut
It comes as the Queensland government said it wanted to keep state borders closed for least another month, citing concerns about community transmission of COVID-19 in southern states.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the borders will stay shut on Tuesday as a Victorian man who had coronavirus was caught trying to the enter the state and two more local cases were reported.
“We said we would review at the end of the each month and there has been no advice from the chief health officer to change what we are doing,” she said.
The premier said Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young wanted to see southern states, and NSW in particular, go through two COVID-19 incubation cycles without any cases of community transmission.
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If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
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