State Government unveiled raft of COVID-19 restriction changes

The NSW Government has unveiled a raft of changes to and reintroduction of COVID-19 restrictions, as the state records over 38,000 new infections in 24 hours.

From Saturday, January 8 until at least January 27, singing and dancing at hospitality venues, including pubs, clubs, nightclubs, bars and restaurants will be banned. This rule does not apply for weddings, for students and instructors and performers. 

Mingling, both at home and out in public is being strongly discouraged. People are being urged to stay seated when drinking at hospitality venues. Outdoor gatherings are being encouraged where possible.

Upcoming major events will be risk-assessed by NSW Health. Organisers are being told to assume their event will proceed unless they are told otherwise.

Non-urgent elective surgeries are being suspended until February, in an effort to free up health resources. It’s hoped this will alleviate pressure on the hospital system and staff. 

Those who test positive to COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test, will now be required to report their result to NSW Health. Similar to the announcement from Victoria on Thursday. Public Health orders will be updated to confirm this requirement.

Lastly, booster vaccines will be mandated for industries where the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines were required. 

Premier Dominic Perrottet says the state had met and overcome many challenges over the past two years and dealing with the latest strain was no different.

“We’re dealing with a highly transmissible variant but fortunately it appears to be a much less severe form of COVID-19 and our high vaccination rates are clearly helping to keep people safe,

“These adjustments will allow us to continue to live with COVID and manage the pandemic in a measured and considered way,” Mr Perrottet says.

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