9 September 2021

UPDATED: Lockdown to lift for parts of NSW, new venues of concern on Far South Coast

| Kim Treasure
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Testing station at Hanging Rock Batemans Bay

There have been long lines of traffic at the COVID-19 testing station at Hanging Rock, Batemans Bay. Photo: Kim Treasure.

UPDATED 6:10 pm: Health authorities have released new venues of concern on the Far South Coast after two positive cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Merimbula.

SNSWLHD’s Public Health Unit (PHU) is working with a number of venues to inform close contacts of infectious cases and provide rapid swabbing where appropriate.

Anyone who attended the following venues at the time listed is a casual contact and must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received:

  • Eden Caltex, Wednesday 1 September, 3:25 pm to 3:40 pm;
  • Cranky’s Cafe, Merimbula, Tuesday 31 August, 9:50 am to 10:15 am;
  • Merimbula Medical Centre, Tuesday 7 September, 10:30 pm to 11:30 am;
  • Merimbula Main St Medical Centre (Vaccination clinic only), Friday 3 September, 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm;
  • Pambula, Auto One, Friday 3 September, 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm;
  • Pambula, Mitre 10, Wednesday 1 September 7:15 am to 7:45 am;
  • Merimbula, Sapphire Cellars, Thursday 2 September 11:50 am to 12:00 pm;
  • Tura Beach Woolworths, Thursday 2 September 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm to 4:45 pm, Friday 3 September 11:50 am to 12:00 pm, Sunday 5 September 11:30 am to 11:45 am;
  • Tura Beach, Harvey Norman, Sunday 5 September 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday 6 September 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesday 7 September 9:30 am to 10:30 am.

If additional venues are identified through further contact tracing these will be announced as soon as they are known.

Anyone who checked in to a venue of concern during the times listed, using the Service NSW QR app, will be notified by SMS from NSW Health as soon as possible over the next 24 hours.

A free, pop up, drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic is open daily at Club Sapphire Merimbula, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm until Sunday 12 September.

Health authorities are also is urging the Moruya community to get tested with even the mildest of COVID-19 symptoms following the detection of fragments of the virus in the local sewage system in the past 48 hours.

This is the first detection of COVID-19 in the Moruya sewage system since the start of the Sydney outbreak.

There are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Moruya and SNSWLHD is concerned that the presence of these fragments could signal undetected cases in the community.

11:30 am: Parts of the capital region will come out of lockdown just after midnight on Friday but restrictions will remain in place on the South Coast as COVID-19 case numbers grow.

NSW has reported 1405 new local coronavirus cases today (9 September), including two at Batemans Bay and one in Cooma previously announced by health authorities.

The two in Batemans Bay are closely linked to the initial case announced on Monday.

After repeated sewage detections on the Far South Coast, Merimbula recorded two positive COVID-19 cases after the 8:00 pm deadline yesterday, meaning they will be captured in tomorrow’s figures.

Worryingly, COVID-19 virus fragments have also been detected in the Moruya treatment plant.

READ ALSO Batemans Bay and Cooma venues of COVID-19 concern released

The NSW Government has released the Riverina, Yass Valley, Upper Lachlan, Cootamundra Gundagai and other parts of the state from lockdown as of 12:01 am Saturday, 11 September, but the following Local Government Areas will remain under stay-at-home orders:

  • Bathurst
  • Bega
  • Blayney
  • Bogan
  • Bourke
  • Brewarrina
  • Broken Hill
  • Cabonne
  • Central Coast
  • Central Darling
  • Cessnock
  • Dubbo
  • Dungog
  • Eurobodalla
  • Forbes
  • Gilgandra
  • Goulburn Mulwaree
  • Kiama
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Lithgow
  • Maitland
  • Mid-Coast
  • Mid-Western
  • Muswellbrook
  • Narrabri
  • Narromine
  • Newcastle
  • Orange
  • Parkes
  • Port Stephens
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang
  • Shellharbour
  • Shoalhaven
  • Singleton
  • Snowy Monaro
  • Upper Hunter
  • Walgett
  • Wingecarribee.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the LGAs released from lockdown were deemed low risk and had seen zero COVID cases for at least 14 days, but they would still continue to operate under restrictions to ensure the safety of regional communities.

“Today, I can announce that while unfortunately many regional LGAs will remain in lockdown due to COVID case numbers, for other parts of the state, stay-at-home orders will be lifted allowing more freedoms for those communities,” Mr Barilaro said.

READ ALSO COVID vaccination rate target ‘within reach’ for NSW south east

“This decision is based on NSW Health advice, and the LGAs which remain in lockdown will continue to be monitored and we will update those communities on a regular basis.

“My strong advice to everyone in regional NSW is to get vaccinated as soon as you can. Our communities need to continue to get vaccinated so that when NSW reaches 70 and 80 per cent, restrictions can ease significantly.”

Where the stay-at-home orders have been lifted, the following restrictions remain:

  • Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home (not including children 12 and under).
  • Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.
  • Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4 square metres inside and one person per 2 square metres outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
  • Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4 square metres rule.
  • Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4 square metres, capped at five clients per premises.
  • Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4 square metres rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
  • Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
  • Schools will re-open with Level 3 COVIDSafe measures in place.
  • Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4 square metres, capped at 5000 people.
  • Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
  • Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per 4 square metres or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.
  • Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
  • Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
  • Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.
  • Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
  • Carpooling will be permitted.
  • Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
  • Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
  • Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.

Local Government Areas still seeing COVID case numbers must continue to follow stay-at-home orders and will be monitored by NSW Health with updates provided as circumstances develop.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a plan for gyms, hospitality venues and hairdressers to reopen to the fully vaccinated by the end of October.

However, she stressed that – although the plan would allow “any person” who was fully vaccinated to participate in those freedoms – health authorities would be able to restrict movement if there was a surge of cases in a certain area.

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Sheila Russell3:36 pm 09 Sep 21

It stinks my husband and I have been fully vaccinated since June and we have to suffer because peoples incompetency’S

So easy to say – get vaccinated – this is very difficult in regional NSW as there are no vaccines available until October/November.
Don’t tell us to do something when you don’t have the resources to meet your request!

Why do we have to suffer that terrible name, Capital Region?
It is bad enough having a certain type of Canberra visitor coming into our areas and acting as if they are the first civilised people to venture here, without having the extra thrill of thinking they are in the Canberra colonies.

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