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The city of Sydney reintroduced strict restrictions on Sunday as confirmed cases related to a newly-discovered coronavirus cluster has increased to 68.
The state of New South Wales (NSW) recorded 30 more locally acquired coronavirus cases on Saturday night, and an additional six cases in hotel quarantine, making the total number of cases related to the cluster in Northern Beaches to 68, Xinhua news agency reported.
Among the 30 new locally acquired cases, 28 are linked to the Avalon cluster, while investigations are ongoing into the source of the remaining two cases, both of whom live on the Northern Beaches.
After the COVID cluster was found, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday morning announced several new restrictions to be applied to Greater Sydney from midnight Sunday.
Household gatherings will be limited to 10 visitors.
One person per 4 square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor settings including hospitality venues and places of worship.
A cap of 300 people will apply for hospitality venues and places of worship.
Singing and chanting at indoor venues will not be allowed. Dancefloors will not be permitted, except for weddings, when a maximum of 20 from the bridal party will be permitted.
Berejiklian said the government will work with health officials to monitor the development and intend to provide further clear advice for the community ahead of Christmas.
“We realize the effect this will have on residents and venues, and hope to lift the cap and restrictions as soon as possible,” she said.
At the same time, the neighbouring state of Victoria, once the epicentre of the pandemic, and the state of Tasmania tightened their border restrictions.
Greater Sydney and the Central Coast will join Northern Beaches as the red zone as announced by Victoria, and those from these areas cannot enter Victoria from midnight Sunday.
Tasmania listed Greater Sydney as a medium-risk area and travelers are required to have quarantine to enter the island state.
The state of NSW currently accounts for 4,748 coronavirus cases and 53 deaths.
Australia has so far reported a total 28,128 cases and 908 fatalities.
For the latest COVID-19 updates visit www.nsw.gov.au.