New South Wales will ease several outdoor coronavirus restrictions from Friday, giving hope for a summer of alfresco events.
The five square metre rule will be reduced to just two square metres at outdoor venues, with up to 500 people allowed seated at events – as long as it’s not indoors.
The easing despite the state recording more new coronavirus cases than Victoria.
There were seven new cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 announced on Tuesday, with a childcare centre in southwest Sydney being forced to shut after an infected person recently attended.
Two new locally acquired cases announced on Monday include doctors who worked at the busy A2Z Medical Clinic and were linked to a previously reported case.
NSW also reported another six COVID-19 cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine, taking the total to 13 new infections.
Meanwhile, Victoria recorded just 12 new cases on Tuesday.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured, on Monday) announced an easing of restrictions despite more new coronavirus cases than Victoria
There are seven new cases of locally transmitted COVID-19 in NSW (Beachgoers at Brighton Le-Sands over the weekend)
The news comes just a day after Ms Berejiklian became the centre of a politican scandal after revealing she had been in a ‘close relationship’ with disgraced ex-Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
The embattled premier admitted to the relationship during Mr Maguire’s investigation into corruption by the SW Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Her bombshell admission to the inquiry follows Ms Berejiklian sacking Mr Maguire from her government in 2018 after a separate ICAC inquiry heard he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers.
She has since admitted ‘stuffing up’ over the relationship, the public knowledge of which she called a ‘nightmare’.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Ms Berejiklian insisted she ‘hadn’t done anything wrong’.
Residents and visitors to Sydney’s eastern suburbs line up for COVID-19 testing at a pop-up clinic at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney
WHAT RESTRICTIONS ARE CHANGING?
From Friday, restrictions on outdoor venues will be eased.
This means venues only need to provide 2sqm per customer, instead of 5.
The 5sqm rule will still apply indoors.
Up to 500 people will be allowed to attend outdoor events as long as they remain seated.
‘I will not tolerate, never have, and never will, any improper conduct by any MP,’ she said.
‘At all times I’ve acted in the best interests of this state. Had I known any wrongdoing was done at any stage I would have not have hesitated to act.
‘And I have acted very swiftly when I needed to and I am the first to put up my hand and admit but I haven’t done anything wrong.’
NSW Health said the new COVID-19 cases were recorded from 8,609 tests reported to 8pm on Monday night, compared with 7,391 in the previous 24 hours.
The remaining five new locally acquired cases were members of the same household in southwestern Sydney and are now part of the ongoing investigation into four previously reported unlinked cases, including a nurse from St Vincent’s Hospital.
NSW Health said one of the new cases was a disability support worker who had worked at three small group homes in southwestern Sydney, contact tracing is underway.
Another one of these new cases attended the Great Beginnings Oran Park childcare centre on October 1, 2, 8 and 9 while infectious. The centre is closed and contact tracing is underway.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian admitted on Monday she shared a private relationship with disgraced former colleague Daryl Maguire while he was in office. She is pictured at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing
NSW Health said the five new cases provided a link between the four previously unlinked cases that included a nurse from St Vincent’s Hospital, and a previously reported cluster of five people in southwestern Sydney linked with Liverpool Hospital.
The 14 people reported between October 8 and Tuesday were now linked, it said, meaning fewer mystery cases – which could have proved a barrier to Queensland opening its borders to the state.
A recent drop in testing numbers remains a concern for authorities who are urging anyone with symptoms, particularly in west and southwest Sydney, to get tested.
Two new locally acquired cases announced on Monday include doctors who worked at he busy A2Z Medical Clinic (pictured) and were linked to a previously reported case
The premier’s secret relationship was revealed on Monday morning when tapped phone calls between her Mr Maguire (pictured together) were played at a corruption inquiry
Earlier a health alert was issued for anyone who was at takeaway food shop Ali Dine Inn and Take Away Lakemba last Friday between 7:30pm and 8:30pm.
Anyone who attended the A2Z medical centre between September 25 and 28 should also be tested immediately, but as the full 14 days since exposure has elapsed they don’t need to isolate if they test negative.
An infected patient also attended the ISRA medical practice in Lakemba, and anyone who attended between October 5 at 6pm to October 6 at 6am is considered a casual contact and must monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if symptoms develop and must remain in isolation until a negative test result is received.
NSW Health has established a pop-up clinic at Lakemba to deal with the cluster.
‘I stuffed up’: Gladys Berejiklian’s statement after secret relationship
I have always made sure the public interest is first and foremost paramount in every single thing that I do.
The integrity of the role I have – the office that I hold – is the greatest privilege of my life. And whilst I have made this mistake in my personal life, I intend to serve the people of New South Wales to the best of my ability. That’s what I’ve always done.
I’ve sacrificed my life to public office, and I’m proud of that. The position I hold is a privileged one. It is an honour to serve the people of the state. And I look forward to maintaining my focus to keep everybody safe, to keep jobs going during a very difficult time for the state.
But I want to state at the outset that, had I known then what I know now, clearly I would not have made those personal decisions that I did. I trusted someone that I’d known for a long time, and I feel really, really let down. I trusted him for a long time. We were colleagues for 15 years.
And I’m not going to take away from the fact that I made a mistake in my personal life, but I have to say that there is huge separation between a personal life and public office.
And I can’t stress enough that, every day that I’ve been in this job, I have held myself accountable to the highest standards, and I’ve held my colleagues to the highest standards.
And I say to all the colleagues, all the public servants, all the people that I’ve worked with – they know me, they know who I am, many of you standing here know me, know who I am, and I will continue to put the people of this state first and foremost in all of my activities.