- Christmas could be cancelled for NSW residents as the COVID-19 cluster in Sydney’s Northern Beaches grows to 83 confirmed cases
- Another 15 cases of the virus were confirmed today, as well as 30 new cases on Sunday — with the majority linked to the Avalon cluster
- NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is now considering implementing a city-wide lockdown, just three days out from Christmas
- The Premier will make the decision on Wednesday morning, depending on whether or not cases continue to rise
- Sydney Airport has already been inundated with domestic passengers attempting to leave the state, despite wide-ranging border restrictions
Sydneysiders may be forced into lockdown just days out from Christmas as the COVID-19 cluster in the city’s Northern Beaches grows to 83 cases.
An additional 15 cases of the potentially deadly virus have been confirmed today — all linked to the Avalon cluster.
Another 30 cases were recorded on Sunday, with 28 of those linked to the growing hotspot in Sydney’s north-east.
Around 38,000 people came forward to be tested in the last 24 hours, prompting the NSW Premier to issue a thank you to residents for their cooperation.
“I’m extremely pleased we’ve had a record number of tests,” Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Monday.
“To have more than 38,000 people come forward in a 24-hour period gives us enormous confidence that the number of cases that have been identified is a realistic position given the number of people who have come forward to get tested,” she added.
However, Premier Berejiklian warned if case numbers continue to rise in the coming days she may be forced to issue a city-wide lockdown for the Greater Sydney area.
At this stage, the Premier won’t make a decision on a Christmas lockdown until Wednesday morning.
“I appreciate how frustrating it is, and I would love to be able to tell everybody today what Christmas might look like in New South Wales or the Northern Beaches. But we’re not in a position to do that yet,” she said.
“We want to make sure that we keep people healthy. We also want to make sure that we reduce that social isolation and don’t allow people to have adverse mental health consequences because of what Christmas or New Year’s might look like for them,” she added.
Sydney Airport saw a surge in domestic passengers leaving NSW over the weekend as some Sydney residents attempted to leave the city amid potential lockdowns.
It comes despite border restrictions being in place in every state and territory across Australia, blocking the free travel of NSW’s residents.
The restrictions were brought in late last week and over the weekend in response to the growing COVID-19 cluster.