Northern NSW snap Covid restrictions to be lifted at midnight | New South Wales

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A mask mandate and other snap coronavirus restrictions will be lifted across northern New South Wales after the fourth day of no community transmission.

About 200,000 residents in the region have been required to wear masks in most indoor public areas and limit house gatherings to no more than 30 since Wednesday.

The restrictions, which also forced the cancellation of Bluesfest, will be lifted at 11.59pm on Monday.

“NSW Health reminds the community that the ending of these temporary restrictions has no impact on the self-isolation requirements for the large number of people in these areas who are close contacts,” the health department said on Monday.

“They must continue to isolate for the full 14 days from their date of exposure and get tested again at the end of this period.”

The restrictions were put in place after NSW diagnosed its first case linked to clusters in south-east Queensland. Testing increased 10-fold in the region after the outbreak was confirmed.

“These efforts have provided us with the confidence to lift the restrictions, but we are still in a period of increased risk and we urge the community to remain vigilant for the next week,” NSW Health said.

Though no longer mandatory, mask-wearing is still strongly recommended by the health authority in public indoor settings, particularly those where physical distancing is difficult.

Some 7,973 tests were reported in the 24 hours to 8pm Sunday, slightly up on the 6,249 in the previous day. Three overseas-acquired cases were recorded in hotel quarantine.

Queensland also recorded no new cases of locally acquired Covid-19.

The state recorded four positive infection cases in hotel quarantine from travellers returning from Papua New Guinea, two from Lebanon and one from India.

“That means there is no further community transmission, which is fantastic news,” said the state’s deputy premier, Steven Miles. “It underlines how it is better to have to lockdown for three days than for three months.”

There are now 75 active cases in the state, with health restrictions to remain in place for the next fortnight.

They include wearing a mask indoors in public, a 30-person limit on private gatherings and restrictions on visits to hospitals, prisons and aged care and disability facilities.

People have been urged to continue checking the Queensland Health Covid-19 website for updates on contact sites, after an earlier case was identified as a nurse who contracted the virus from a man who arrived from Europe last month.

The traveller – who became a patient at the Princess Alexandra hospital in Brisbane – has now been recognised as the super spreader who sparked the latest Queensland outbreak.

Despite outbreak fears, Queensland celebrated an Easter tourism surge, Miles said. “On a positive note, it has been a bumper weekend for our tourism operators,” he said.

“About 75,000 people flew into Cairns … largely from … Sydney and Melbourne, and lots and lots of full flights arrived on Thursday and Friday.”

Hotel occupancy surged to a welcome 90% in some areas.

“On the Sunshine and Gold Coast, it was also very busy, with Gold Coast airport having its busiest day for arrivals on Thursday,” Miles said. “So it’s wonderful that Queenslanders and southerners have supported our tourism regions.”

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Northern NSW snap Covid restrictions to be lifted at midnight | New South Wales

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