Restrictions extended in Sydney as outbreak swells

Sydney temperatures are expected to peak on Thursday and Friday. Photo: Getty Images
Sydney's Covid outbreak has swelled to 21 cases. File photo: Getty Images
Mandated mask-wearing has been extended in Sydney after New South Wales reported its biggest increase in new locally acquired Covid-19 cases in nearly a week.

Ten new locally acquired cases were reported in NSW on Tuesday, as officials fight to contain a latest cluster of the highly infectious Delta virus variant.

Tuesday's data includes seven cases recorded after the 8pm cut-off deadline, which will be included in Wednesday's numbers. Six of the seven infections are household contacts of previous cases who have been in isolation.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said mandatory mask-wearing indoors and on public transport would be extended for another week.

The rules will now also apply to all of Greater Sydney, excluding NSW’s Central Coast and Hunter regions, Sydney Morning Herald reports..

"It is only when you are eating or drinking indoors at a venue that you can’t or shouldn’t wear a mask," Ms Berejiklian said.

"In every other circumstance, if you live or are in Sydney, you must wear a mask for another week beyond Wednesday, midnight."

Authorities linked a driver who transports overseas airline crew members to the latest outbreak, the first in the state in more than a month, which has swelled to 21 infections in six days.

In its efforts to quash the outbreak, the NSW government had initially made masks mandatory in Sydney's buses, trains and ferries for five days while urging the city's 5 million residents to use masks indoors.

Swift tracing systems, tough social distancing rules and a high community compliance have kept Australia's Covid-19 numbers relatively low, with just over 30,350 cases and 910 deaths. It has reported zero local cases for most days this year.

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