No community COVID cases in NSW: new limits on outdoor gatherings, bookings

Zero community transmission in NSW: new limits on outdoor gatherings, bookings

THERE have been zero cases of coronavirus community transmission across NSW, allowing the state to wind back regulations around outdoor gatherings and group bookings.

The last time there were no new locally transmitted cases in NSW was the 24 hours to October 6.

Four cases in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine were also diagnosed, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 4,153. There were 6,952 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with 12,985 in the previous 24 hours.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said while the news was promising there was great concern over testing numbers and she believed the virus continued to lurk in the community.

"Good news, but we know that it is still likely lurking in the community," she said.

"Please keep getting tested."

The Premier also announced a change to regulations for bookings and outdoor gatherings.

Those booking at a restaurant or hospitality venue will now be able to sit with a group of 30, while the limit on people at outdoor gatherings has risen to 30. Wedding guest numbers have will also increase to 300 from December 1, but rules around dancing and staying seated remain in place.

"NSW is at a critical point, and the only way to find new cases and prevent further transmission is to increase testing," a statement for NSW Health said.

"Come forward for testing right away if anyone has even the mildest of symptoms like a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, fever or other symptoms that could be COVID-19.

"This is particularly important in South Western Sydney, Western Sydney and South Eastern Sydney where there have been recent locally transmitted cases."

NSW Health is treating 69 COVID-19 cases, with one patient in intensive care. This patient does not require ventilation.

Meanwhile, NSW Police have issued 20 Penalty Infringement Notices following a number of alleged breaches of the Public Health Act across the weekend.

Officers from Richmond Police District were conducting duties at a sports ground at Ballina on Saturday, when they became concerned about the increasing crowd numbers.

Police observed that people were not being counted as they entered the ground and after it was estimated that more than 1000 were in attendance, event organisers were directed to reduce the crowd size.

Play was suspended for a short time while the crowd was reduced by half and appropriate control measures were established.

Officials for the club were subsequently advised a $5000 PIN would be issued for failing to adhere to venue operation laws.

About 12.45pm on Saturday, police from Operation Border Closure stopped a Hyundai SUV at the Tocumwal border checkpoint and spoke with the male driver.

The 26-year-old man told police he was returning to Queensland and was unaware he required a permit to transit through NSW. He was provided advice on applying for a permit before being refused entry and directed to return to Victoria.

About 7am the following day police were advised an SUV was seen driving on the Tocumwal Railway Bridge into NSW.

Following patrols, police stopped the Hyundai SUV on the Newell Highway at Finley and spoke to the same driver. He was escorted back to border and issued a $1000 PIN.

Officers from Lake Macquarie police district were called to a home on Letchworth Parade, Balmoral, about 10.30pm on Saturday, following reports of a large party.

Police arrived to find more than 100 young people congregated and spoke with the resident - a 47-year-old woman - who said many of the guests were uninvited, but she had not asked them to leave.

As police attempted to disperse the crowd, they became hostile towards the officers and threw bottles, rocks, and other projectiles before damaging property, including fences, trees and street signs.

The crowd was eventually dispersed and investigations into the incident are continuing.

Officers have since issued the woman with a $1000 PIN.

About 1.25am Sunday officers from Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command responded to reports of a loud party at a unit block on Hall Street, Bondi.

On arrival, police observed at least 35 people inside the unit before the group scattered and attempted to run from the area. In total, 17 people were spoken to, some of whom were found hiding in a stairwell, and were advised they would each receive a $1000 PIN.

Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.


This story Zero community transmission in NSW: new limits on outdoor gatherings, bookings first appeared on Newcastle Herald.