Social restrictions on several areas of Greater Sydney will ease for the three day Christmas period, from Christmas Eve until Boxing Day, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced. The news comes as Sydney set a new daily record for the number of tests in a 24-hour period – more than 42,000 in total. Eight new locally acquired cases were recorded in the 24-hour reporting period between December 21 to 22, all linked to existing cases in the Avalon cluster.
While there will be no changes to the increased restrictions on public venues, private gatherings across Greater Sydney, excluding the most northerly part of the Northern Beaches LGA, will be permitted to have a maximum of ten adult guests plus an unlimited number of children under the age of 12, between December 24 to 26 only. However, Berejiklian clarified that the ten guest maximum did not mean that a household could welcome multiple groups of ten over the course of a day and that the ten guest maximum, regardless of age, would come back into effect from December 27.
Based on the spread of cases, some restrictions will be eased for the southerly part of the Northern Beaches between December 24 to 26. In the area south of the Narrabeen Lagoon Bridge and east of the Bahai Temple on Mona Vale Road, households will be allowed to welcome up to ten guests plus an unlimited number of children under 12, with the same conditions as the rest of Greater Sydney. However, while guests can come from any part of Sydney, people living within this Northern Beaches area, including within the suburbs of Manly, Queenscliff, Freshwater, Dee Why, Collaroy and Narrabeen, may not leave the LGA and visit other parts of the city.
Full lockdown restrictions will remain in place for all areas of the Northern Beaches north of the Narrabeen Lagoon Bridge save for one concession between December 24 to 26. During this three-day period, households within this area will be able to welcome up to five adults and an unlimited number of children under 12, so long as those guests also live within this red zone of the Northern Beaches. People living outside of this area, including those living in the southern part of the Northern Beaches LGA, will not be permitted to enter for any reason.
Berejiklian said that more changes to restrictions, that will come into force from December 27, will be announced on December 26.