Dob in businesses that break strict COVID-19 rules, premier urges

Dob in businesses that break strict COVID-19 rules, premier urges

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging community members and staff to dob in businesses not adhering to strict new COVID-19 restrictions from Friday, as the state remains on "high alert".

Overnight, 16 people have tested positive to COVID-19 in NSW, after 18,465 people were tested in 24 hours. It brings the total confirmed cases in the state to 3425.

Ninety-one cases are currently being treated by NSW Health, with two patients in intensive care and one on a ventilator.

Of the new cases, the majority were linked to known outbreaks - with three associated with the Casula Crossroads Hotel cluster and 11 linked to the Thai Rock restaurant in Wetherill Park.

One of the cases was a close contact of a previously reported Western Sydney case, not linked to any known outbreak; and one case was a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

"The fact there isn't a new stream of outbreak is reassuring at one level, but I still want to state that the state is on high alert," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We want everybody to think seriously about what they're doing on the weekend to make sure you avoid crowds, make sure you avoid putting yourself in a situation which will compromise your health or that of others, think about the number of people you're having into your home.

"We know the highest risk activities are those inside your own home or those inside a confined space such as a hospitality venue.

"And that's why the restrictions from Friday address those issues."

There'll be a further tightening of restrictions on restaurants, cafes and bars from Friday - which includes venues having to limit group bookings to 10 people and register their business as COVID-Safe.

Ms Berejiklian warned that authorities would come down hard on those businesses - and those patrons - not adhering to restrictions.

"Any business that doesn't do the right thing, will have the book thrown at them," she said.

"If we don't find them ourselves, we expect members of the community to let us know or staff members for that matter.

"Let us know and we will come down hard on these people not doing the right thing as there is so much at stake."

The warning comes as Victoria recorded its highest number of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic - with 484 cases overnight.

Ms Berejiklian said NSW remained on high alert, with the coming weeks critical.

"The next few weeks are the most critical in NSW since the lockdown earlier in March and April," she said.

"If we manage to get on top of the community transmission at this stage, we have a much better chance of continuing to move forward in a positive way."

She paid thanks to health workers across the state, carrying out tests and contact tracing.

"In other parts of the world, indeed other parts of Australia, community transmission isn't followed up as much as it has been here in NSW," she said.

However, each individual had their part to play, by complying with restrictions and adhering to social distancing rules.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant revealed genetic sequencing of virus for cases from the Crossroads Hotel, Thai Rock restaurant and Batemans Bay Soldiers Club clusters revealed that they were linked to virus strains in Victoria. However experts agreed that no one person was the source.

"We believe that there are different sources of exposure," she said.

The new cases in NSW mean that 53 cases are now associated with the Crossroads Hotel, and 37 with Thai Rock restaurant.

There remains eight cases linked to the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, and Dr Chant thanked that community for turning out in high numbers for testing.

There'd been no additional cases associated with that cluster overnight, though investigations continued into the source of infection.

"The actions of that community gives me good assurance that we're not missing any undetected community transmission," she said.

While it was not a legal requirement, Dr Chant said it would be safer for the time being to avoid all non-essential travel, and not host or attend gatherings of more than 10 people at home (though the legal limit is 20 people).

Everyone should observe social distancing and hygiene measures and consider wearing a face mask in situations where social distancing was not possible.

If people had been directed to undertake a full 14 self-isolation period, they must stay in isolation for the full period, she said, even if they undertake a test that comes back negative

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This story Dob in businesses that break strict COVID-19 rules, premier urges first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.

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