Sydney (Tribune International, NSW Premier Office Release, 7 Jan 2021); The NSW Government has announced a range of precautionary measures to provide additional support for the health system and community ahead of an anticipated peak in COVID cases later this month.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the state had met and overcome many challenges over the past two years and
dealing with the latest strain was no different.
“We’re dealing with a highly transmissible variant but fortunately it appears to be a much less severe form of COVID-19 and our high vaccination rates are clearly helping to keep people safe,” Mr Perrottet said.
“I want to thank our health care workers for their dedication and professionalism, not only now but during two very hard years.
“To alleviate pressure on the hospital system and staff, we’re extending the usual holiday suspension of non-urgent elective surgery through to February and will utilise private hospital capacity where needed, as we did during the Alpha and Delta outbreaks.
“Public health orders will also be updated next week to include a requirement that people report their positive Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) results, linking those impacted with health support and advice about how they can manage their symptoms from home.”
Some minor amendments to restrictions in social settings have also been made.
“These adjustments will allow us to continue to live with Covid and manage the pandemic in a measured and considered way,” Mr Perrottet said.
From 8 – 27 January, 2022, singing and dancing will be prohibited in hospitality venues (including pubs, clubs, nightclubs, bars, and restaurants), entertainment facilities, and major recreation facilities. This prohibition will not apply for weddings, or for students and instructors and performers in the settings listed above.
Major events scheduled for the coming weeks will be risk-assessed by NSW Health and the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC). Event organisers should assume their event will proceed unchanged unless they are contacted by NSW Health to advise otherwise.
The Government is continuing to encourage people to take extra precautions to reduce their risk of contracting Covid-19:
- People are asked to continue to use common sense in limiting large household gatherings and gather outdoors where possible; and
- the Government also recommends people stay seated when drinking in hospitality venues.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the best way to keep communities safe is through the booster program.
“Anybody for whom vaccination was mandatory already, will now have boosters mandated,” Mr Hazzard said.
“This means for people working in particular settings to be classified as fully vaccinated, they will now need to have had three shots.
“Boosters provide additional protection not only for you, but for your colleagues, loved ones and community.”