By DAMIEN NOVAK
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that face masks are now mandatory indoors and on public transport throughout Sydney.
Addressing a Covid-19 update media conference this morning, the premier said the mask mandate – previously applicable to just seven local government areas – was being extended across Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
The Central Coast and Hunter Valley areas are not included, she said.
“We will extend it to all of Greater Sydney. That means excluding the Central Coast and excluding the Hunter, but also they will be required to adhere to that compulsory mask wearing indoors for hospitality workers when we are going shopping, going grocery shopping, going to events inside,” Ms Berejiklian told the media conference.
“It is only when you are eating or drinking indoors at a venue that you can’t or shouldn’t wear a mask,” she said.
Additionally, Ms Berejiklian said the mask requirements would be extended by another week.
Previously slated to end shortly after midnight on Wednesday, the premier said: “If you live or are in Sydney, you must wear a mask for another week beyond Wednesday midnight”.
The moves come after five locally acquired cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the official 24-hour reporting period to 8pm last night.
A further seven cases have been recorded since then, and will be officially counted in tomorrow’s figures, said NSW Health.
The outbreak now stands at 21 cases in total.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said people should take the health advice “very, very seriously”, as the 21 cases were of the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19.
“Last year, we talked about the necessity for the 1.5 metre social distancing. That is still crucial,” he said.
“We also need to recognise that this Delta variant, the Delta variant of the coronavirus, is actually a gold medallist … jumping from one person to another. It is a long jumper.
“Take it very, very seriously. Follow the guidelines that NSW Health and the NSW Government establish. We are all in this together but we want to get out of it together, safe and sound. We take seriously using QR codes and making sure we maintain distance wherever possible.”