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Masks 'strongly recommended' in NSW: What you need to know about COVID-19 this weekend.

 With AAP. 

Masks are now strongly recommended in NSW to slow the spread of coronavirus.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has issued a 'strong recommendation' for residents to wear masks when in public to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Berejiklian said people are being asked to wear a mask in a number of scenarios. This includes: if social distancing is impossible, for example on public transport; if you are public-facing employee, for example a retail worker; if you are attending a place of worship; if you reside in an area of community transmission or near a COVID-19 cluster; and if you are a person vulnerable to COVID-19 due to your age or underlying health issues.

It comes as NSW recorded 12 new cases overnight. Only one of the new cases is from a person in hotel quarantine, and another person has no known infection source. Another three visited the Apollo restaurant in Potts Point on July 25, two attended the Mounties Club in Mount Pritchard on July 23 and five were close contacts of known cases.

Woolworths and some other food retailers, like Harris Farm Markets, are already encouraging customers to wear masks while instore to protect their staff.

Social distancing remains the key method by which people can avoid catching or spreading the disease in the state, the government says.

Melbourne enters stage four restrictions.

A state of disaster has been declared in Victoria as the state tightens COVID-19 restrictions and implements a nightly curfew in Melbourne.

Premier Daniel Andrews warned that from 6pm on Sunday police will have additional powers to make sure people are complying with public health directions.

READ: Stage 4 restrictions and a curfew: What we learnt from Daniel Andrews' press conference.

The move to harsher restrictions comes as the state recorded 671 new cases on Sunday, plus seven additional deaths.

"If we don't make these changes, we're not going to get through this," Mr Andrews told reporters.

"We need to do more. That is what these decisions are about."

Under the 'stage four' restrictions, Melbourne residents will only be allowed to exercise for an hour a day and can't travel more than 5km from home for the purpose of shopping.

Only one person from each household will be able to go to the shops each day.

Watch: Daniel Andrews declares a state of disaster in Victoria. Post continues below. 


Video via Sky News
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Metropolitan Melbourne will be under a nightly curfew, between the hours of 8pm to 5am, from Sunday night with some exemptions for those providing care and travelling to and from work.

Regional Victoria will move to 'stage three' restrictions, with restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms and other businesses to shut from midnight on Wednesday.

The premier flagged further announcements would be made about workplaces on Monday, including the closure of certain industries.

"I want to ensure all Victorians supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there," he said.

Listen to The Quicky, Mamamia's daily news podcast. Post continues below. 

COVID-19 breaches continue in NSW as cases grow.

NSW confirmed its first coronavirus-related death in more than two months on Saturday, as state authorities continue to battle breaches of COVID-19 restrictions.

An 83-year-old man connected to the Crossroads Hotel cluster in southwestern Sydney died on Saturday morning, taking the NSW death toll to 52 and the nationwide tally to 201.

On Saturday, the state confirmed 17 new COVID-19 diagnoses. Of those cases, one is locally acquired with no known source and two remain under investigation.

"While most cases in the past week have been associated with local clusters and close contacts of known cases, seven in the past week have not been able to be linked to known cases," Dr McAnulty said in a statement on Saturday.

 A health care worker performs a test at a pop-up COVID-19 testing clinic in Rushcutters Bay. Image: Getty. 

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"These unlinked cases have been in people from southwestern Sydney, western Sydney, southeastern Sydney and Sydney local health districts."

The Thai Rock Wetherill Park cluster is nearing 100 COVID-19 cases, while the cluster in Potts Point has reached 24 and the funeral events cluster sits at 25.

A popular venue on Sydney's Northern Beaches, The Bavarian, was on Saturday forced to shut after hosting a COVID-positive patron on the afternoon of July 24.

The Harpoon & Hotel Harry in Surry Hills, Matinee Coffee in Marrickville and Tan Viet in Cabramatta are among other venues required to undertake deep cleaning in recent days.

Queensland records one new virus case.

Queensland has confirmed one new coronavirus case of a man in his 20s now in quarantine and who recently returned from overseas.

He flew into Maroochydore from Sydney on July 31 on a Jetstar flight, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said on Sunday.

Health authorities are trying to trace people who sat near him on flight JQ790.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said 105 tests had been conducted at a Brisbane nursing home where a worker tested positive.

Of those tests, 104 have returned negative results.

"This is wonderful news. I want to assure everyone we're doing everything possible to keep your loved ones safe during this time," she told reporters.

There are 13 active COVID-19 cases in Queensland.

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Kyrgios withdraws from the US Open over COVID-19 concerns.

Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the US Open because of coronavirus concerns in a huge blow to the New York grand slam.

The outspoken Australian tennis star on Sunday cited health and safety issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic as he joined world No.1 Ashleigh Barty in opting out of the Flushing Meadows major.

"I will not be playing this year at the US Open," Kyrgios said.

"It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing in one of the sport's greatest arenas, Arthur Ashe Stadium," he continued.

"But I'm sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds and thousands of Americans that have lost their lives, for all of you. It's my decision.

"Let's take a breath here and remember what's important, which is health and safety as a community.

"We can rebuild our sport and the economy but we can never recover lives lost."

On Thursday, Barty said she did not feel comfortable about travelling during the coronavirus pandemic as she pulled the pin on the US slam.

The Queenslander will decide in the coming weeks whether to defend her French Open title.

Feature Image: Getty.


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