New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sydney are hanging in the balance amid a renewed plea for more testing as the northern suburbs cluster continues to grow.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she hopes to be able to reveal what the city’s New Year’s Eve plans look like on Monday as coronavirus threatens to derail the iconic fireworks event, which is broadcast worldwide.
Ms Berejiklian announced seven new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Sunday morning, with six linked to the northern beaches cluster.
The total number of cases associated with the outbreak now stands at 122.
“The more testing we have overnight, the more we can make those decisions,” the Premier said.
“If you have the mildest symptoms please get tested. Those tests will give us confidence to make decisions about New Year’s Eve, especially to the southern parts of northern beaches.”
Ms Berejiklian said she wanted to “give positive news” to Sydneysiders but couldn’t do so unless the high rates of testing continued.
“I appreciate frustration levels are increasing as we get closer to New Year’s Eve and days we stay at home increase,” she said.
“We hope to have some clear information for everybody (on Monday) or the latest the day after on New Year’s Eve and what the next weeks will look like.
“Everyday that goes past gives us more information and more confidence to make decisions which we think will ease the pressure on communities.”
Ms Berejiklian said singing, dancing and speaking loudly were all “accelerants” for transmitting the virus and unfortunately they would not be allowed.
“We ask everybody to please respect that. For greater Sydney, our message remains the same – please try and reduce your mobility and your activity,” the Premier said.
Earlier, on Christmas Eve, Ms Berejiklian revealed the New Year’s fireworks display in the Sydney CBD at midnight would “definitely” be going ahead.
“It will be happening no matter what,” Ms Berejiklian said on Thursday.
“I’ll certainly be watching it at home. We encourage everybody else to do that as well.
“We have at this stage provided some access for frontline workers and others, but again, everything is reassessed based on the most recent cluster of cases.”