Here we go again – that sinking feeling Victorians know all too well has just hit many Sydneysiders with snow travel (or any travel!) plans wiped out in one press conference.
The NSW government has just announced a raft of restrictions for residents of affected local goververnment areas from 4PM today 23 June. The restrictions apply for one week (at least). This is the key phrase for snow goers, see the full detail below:
“If you live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahara local government areas, you cannot travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel”
So that puts a huge hole in snow travel plans for a lot of people. And creates a nightmare for business owners dealing with last minute cancelations.
With new cases emerging in other areas – such as a childcare centre in Narellan, on the south west edge of Sydney, the situation is highly likely to affect more areas.
Most people drive through the ACT on the way to the NSW ski resorts, and that is still OK under ACT government rules if you just transit through – stopping would require applying for an exemption online. So forget a Canberra stopover to break up the journey – keep scooting past. This is the relevent key info, check latest ACT restrictions here
- arrive in the ACT by air for the purpose of transiting to another destination, and do not leave the Canberra Airport, unless it is to go directly to your next mode of transport
- arrive in the ACT by road or air for the purpose of transiting to NSW by road and immediately do so without exiting your vehicle
For anyone booked to New Zealand the travel bubble from Sydney went into pause mode for at least 72 hours from last night. With case numbers rising that will almost inevitably be extended.
Conversely, New Zealand has reopened for Melbourne people heading to NZ.
In the meantime, as we have said, getting vaccinated is your best protection against catching and spreading COVID. Try and do that as soon as the confused roll out allows.
Otherwise, just keep applying the hygiene measures we are all familiar with. This is not going away.
This is the full statement from the NSW Government:
To protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, new restrictions will be introduced for Greater Sydney from 4pm today for one week.
Following updated health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant about the growing risk to the community, the following restrictions will be introduced for Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour;
- Visitors to households will be limited to 5 guests – including children;
- Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events;
- Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed;
- Singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed;
- Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the bridal party only (no more than 20 people);
- Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (masks must be worn);
- The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals;
- Outdoor seated events will be limited to 50% seated capacity;
- Previous public transport capacity limits, represented by green dots, will be reintroduced;
- If you live or work in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, you cannot travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential travel.
These restrictions are designed to reduce the risk of further community transmission.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said we are once again asking the community to do what they do best and follow the health advice to get on top of this outbreak.
“We don’t take these steps lightly and we never want to impose restrictions unless we absolutely have to,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We know the effect this will have on residents and venues but we must take this action now to ensure we keep on top of this outbreak.”
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant urged the community to play their part in controlling the COVID spread.
“We need really high testing rates to make sure we’re stopping any chains of transmission and we’re continuing to urge people to come forward for testing, especially if you were in Westfield Bondi Junction (including the car park) at any time between 12 June and 18 June,” Dr Chant said.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said more than ever people need to use QR codes and wear masks when required.
“We will be increasing supervision and compliance checks to make sure everyone is doing the right thing,” Mr Hazzard said.
“This pandemic is far from over and we all have to do our bit to protect the community.”
The government and health experts will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updated information and advice.