Restrictions could ease within days

By | January 19, 2021

The limit on gatherings inside homes is expected to be discussed during NSW government crisis talks on Wednesday morning as Premier Gladys Berejiklian considers easing restrictions for Greater Sydney in time for Australia Day.

With NSW recording no locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, it is expected that Ms Berejiklian will on Wednesday discuss easing restrictions within a matter of days during the state government’s crisis cabinet meeting.

Ms Berejiklian said senior ministers were “definitely in a space of wanting to ease restrictions”.

Sydney’s restrictions include a maximum of five people allowed inside a home, while only 30 may gather outdoors in a public space. Weddings and funerals are limited to 100 people under the 4sq m rule.

However, lifting restrictions will depend on testing rates given NSW recorded a little more than 10,000 tests on Tuesday and almost 9000 on Monday.

“Low daily testing numbers is an increasing concern,” a NSW Health media release stated.

Ms Berejiklian has said she wants to see daily testing rates of at least 20,000 after NSW recorded days of no locally acquired cases last week.

“For us to ease restrictions we need to have confidence that we haven’t missed any strains of the virus undetected in the community,” she told reporters.

Ms Berejiklian said that while restrictions were needed in Greater Sydney, border closures to other states were not.

“Is the current risk worthy of having border closures? No,” she said. “But is it worthy of maintaining our restrictions in relation to those high-risk activities, those indoor venues and mask wearing? Yes.”

Travel from NSW to Western Australia is still banned without an exemption, while Queensland and Victoria require travellers from NSW to apply for an entry pass. Anyone from certain hot-spot areas are banned without an exemption.

However, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday he would ease restrictions as soon as possible.

Health and Fitness | — Australia’s leading news site