Rules for Sydney Christmas gatherings announced.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced rules for gatherings over the Christmas period for people in Greater Sydney, as the city races to contain a virus cluster in its Northern Beaches region.
The new regulations, which apply for December 24, 25 and 26 only, effectively see Sydney divided into three zones:
- The northern section of the Northern Beaches (suburbs north of the Narrabeen bridge and east of the Bahai Temple) — the epicentre of the cluster — will remain locked down. Residents from within this bubble will not be permitted to leave, but will be able to have up to five people to their homes as long as those people are also from within the bubble.
- The rest of the Northern Beaches will also remain in lockdown; that is, unable to leave the Northern Beaches area. Although, they will now be permitted to have up to ten people to their home, plus any number of children under 12. Those people can be from other regions.
- Greater Sydney residents will remain bound to the 10-person gathering rule, though that will no longer include children under 12. The Premier stressed that it does not mean residents can have several groups of 10 visitors throughout the day — "It's one group of 10, and you have to stick to that group of 10."
No restrictions apply to regional NSW.
NSW recorded eight locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, with an additional eight cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine. Seven of the locally acquired cases are linked to the Avalon cluster. pic.twitter.com/f9dG20HVhI— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) December 23, 2020
The new rules come as NSW recorded eight cases of community transmission in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday, seven of which were directly linked to the Northern Beaches cluster. The other was a direct contact of the person who worked in transporting people to hotel quarantine.
The recent outbreak has caused havoc for the Christmas plans of many.
Thousands of people around the state are self-isolating and will continue to do so over the festive period. All state borders are now closed to people travelling from Greater Sydney as well.
"We appreciate what a difficult time this is for everybody across the state," Premier Berejiklian said. "In particular, our thoughts are with those who are already in isolation."
Scott Morrison awarded US military honour.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been awarded a prestigious US military honour in recognition of his leadership in addressing global challenges.
The US National Security Council tweeted on Tuesday that President Donald Trump awarded the Legion of Merit to Morrison "for his leadership in addressing global challenges and promoting collective security".
The Legion of Merit is awarded to US soldiers and to foreign political or military figures.