NSW eases event limits, shuns Victorians

NSW has eased a number of coronavirus restrictions while keeping a wary eye on outbreaks in southern neighbour Victoria.

Limits on attendance have been relaxed from Wednesday for funerals, weddings, places of worship and community sport in NSW, as long as there is no more than one person per four square metres of space. 

Outdoor gatherings are still restricted to 20 people, but community sport with a COVID-19 safety plan can have up to 500 participants.

Funerals, weddings and church services may have the maximum number of people allowed on the premises with one person per four square metres.

All businesses can now open and operate under the same principle.

Up to 20 people can visit another household at any one time and guests are permitted to stay overnight. Up to 20 people can also stay at a holiday home, with no restrictions on travelling within NSW.

But Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged NSW residents not to open their doors to Victorians despite stopping short of closing the border.

From Thursday, Victoria will place residents of 36 Melbourne suburbs back into lockdown for a month in a bid to contain an unacceptably high number of new coronavirus cases detected in the past fortnight.

Victoria on Tuesday reported 64 new virus cases, compared with 14 – all of them returned travellers in hotel quarantine – in NSW on Wednesday.

One patient in NSW is currently in intensive care.

“This virus is quite capable of circulating, particularly in younger people,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Wednesday.

“I’m concerned young people particularly consider themselves immortal.”

People trying to enter NSW stadiums from Wednesday may be required to show their driver’s licence to prove they’re not from Victoria.

The premier on Tuesday also warned against complacency on social distancing and hygiene measures, suggesting NSW residents were becoming lax.

“Things can change very quickly in terms of the rate of community transmission…. I have noticed in and around my movements that people are starting to relax a little bit too much for my liking. Don’t relax,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Queensland on Tuesday announced it would permit entry to NSW residents from July 10 provided they have not visited Victoria in the previous 14 days.

Ms Berejiklian had repeatedly called for the reopening of the border.

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