New restrictions in Sydney as Covid cluster grows

Vehicles wait in line at the Bondi Beach drive-through Covid-19 testing centre in Sydney as...
Vehicles wait in line at the Bondi Beach drive-through Covid-19 testing centre in Sydney as concerns mount over a growing number of cases in the city. Photo: Reuters
Two new locally transmitted cases have been recorded in New South Wales, taking Sydney's eastern suburbs Covid cluster to 11.

The pair - a woman in her 50s from Sydney's north and a man in his 30s from the eastern suburbs - were both close contacts of previously reported cases, and were diagnosed while in isolation.

Both were diagnosed after the 8pm cut-off on Sunday and will be included in Tuesday's numbers.

Another two cases, announced on Sunday morning, were diagnosed in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday and have been included in Monday's figures.

The growing cluster has prompted the government to mandate mask-wearing in seven local council areas.

Anyone shopping, working in hospitality or indoors must wear a mask unless eating or drinking if they live in the local government areas of Randwick, Bayside, Botany Bay, Inner West, City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra.

Masks are also compulsory on public transport in Greater Sydney, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas until Thursday.

Greater Sydney and Blue Mountains residents have been told to avoid non-essential visits to aged care and disability facilities and if visiting must wear a mask with a limit of two visitors a day.

As concern over the latest bout of community transmission grows, the NSW premier will appeal for more Pfizer vaccine doses at a national cabinet meeting on Monday.

"The current outbreak we're experiencing demonstrates the risk is always there, the threats are always there, no matter how good your systems are," Gladys Berejiklian told Sydney radio 2GB on Monday.

"Other states have received a top up, and I just want to make sure we get our fair share, especially given the vast majority of Aussies coming back home are coming through Sydney Airport."

Authorities are urging people to get tested with even slight symptoms and the premier warned the state was entering a critical period.

"The next few days are critical. We ask people not to be complacent. If cases continue to emerge we will need to go further. We are nowhere near having vaccinated the majority of our population yet," Ms Berejiklian said on Sunday.

The latest outbreak was sparked last week when an unvaccinated limousine driver, who transported overseas aircrew to and from the airport, tested positive to the highly transmissible Delta variant after visiting multiple venues, including the popular Bondi Junction shopping centre.

Another 27 new exposure sites were listed on Sunday, including a North Face outlet in Drummoyne.

More casual sites are in Drummoyne along with others at Castle Hill, Merrylands, central Sydney and Hurstville.

Four more Sydney LGAs have become "orange zones" under Victoria's border permit system, while South Australia has joined Queensland by imposing an immediate ban on travellers from the Waverley Council area.

The West Australian government, meanwhile, is setting up Covid-19 testing clinics at Perth Airport's domestic terminals from Sunday to enforce new conditions imposed on travellers from NSW.

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