Australia’s most populous city is on high alert on Monday after recording two new locally acquired coronavirus infections, as a cluster in the eastern suburbs of Sydney drops to nine cases.
Australian chief nurse and midwife Alison McMillan said on Sunday the two new cases are already known to be in close contact and are in quarantine.
“I think it’s really important that we remind everyone that what we’re seeing here with some cases across the country means that Covid-19 hasn’t gone away,” she said.
A man in his 50s is said to have contracted the virus while shopping at the Myer department store in the suburb of Bondi Junction along with a limo driver believed to be at the center of the latest outbreak.
Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness chairwoman Jane Halton said NSW would likely face tighter restrictions if enough people did not show up for testing.
Masks are now mandatory indoors in large parts of Sydney. “All I can do is cheer on anyone [with a] sniffle, sore throat, anything, [to] get tested, ”Halton told the Today broadcast on the Nine network.
Western Australia has imposed stricter conditions on all residents of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, while the state of Victoria has blocked entry to three of the local government areas of its neighbors – the city of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra.
All arrivals to Western Australia must be tested for Covid-19 and go into quarantine until they test negative. “The situation in New South Wales is evolving rapidly and is of concern given that the outbreak involves the Delta strain of the Covid-19 virus,” said Mark McGowan, Premier of the State.
New Zealand has not interrupted travel from New South Wales in the latest cases. “Health officials have come together and determined that at this time, the public health risk of Covid-19 for New Zealand remains low,” said Caroline McElnay, director of public health.
The state of Queensland said on Sunday that a flight crew member who had previously been quarantined at a hotel had tested positive.