New South Wales has recorded seven new locally-transmitted cases of coronavirus as health authorities called on the public to limit their movements over the Christmas period.

The cases, six of which were already in isolation and linked to the Northern Beaches cluster, were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday night from a record-breaking almost 70,000 tests.

The seventh case was a worker from the Northern Beaches, who caught public transport in the area. 

At least 110 cases are now linked to the Northern Beaches cluster, with health authorities so far unable to determine how the international-strain of the virus entered the community.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said almost 70,000 tests in a single day was an “outstanding result” but warned residents against travelling to the CBD for Boxing Day sales due to “potential spread” in the area.

“Today it is proving to be constrained, but we cannot be too careful under these circumstances,” she told reporters on Friday.

24 December: NSW Premier urges state to ‘not take risks’ over Christmas

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“We want to discourage people from going to the CBD tomorrow [Boxing Day]. Please limit your activity.”

Health authorities are providing regular updates to a list of venues and locations visited by confirmed cases on the NSW Health website.

Among the recent alerts is the Paragon Hotel in Circular Quay which has been linked to three cases. Anyone who visited the hotel between 12.45 and 3.30pm on 16 December for more than an hour is considered a close contact and should isolate immediately for the full 14-days, regardless of test result.

Anyone who was there for less than an hour during that time should get tested and isolate until a result is received, NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said. 

“I want to repeat my urging that anyone who has been in the north-eastern part of the city, including Australia Square, the MLC Centre, and Chiefly Square should be alert to symptoms,” she continued.

Another case linked to the Paddington Alimentari deli was also recorded after 8pm on Thursday night and will be included in Saturday’s case tally.

The Northern Beaches lockdown has been split into two regions for the Christmas period, with residents north of the Narrabeen Bridge unable to host guests from outside the region while those in the Southern end can have up to 10 guests from across the state, excluding children, over to their home.

Neither group is able to leave the Northern Beaches, with the lockdown conditions to revert to previous settings on 27 December. 

Dr Chant once again urged people who were celebrating Christmas with their friends and family to sit outside if possible and stay home if they experienced any symptoms. 

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania.



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