NSW has recorded eight new COVID-19 cases as the premier reiterated the state is on “high alert” and extended restrictions on pubs and hotels to all indoor hospitality venues.
Of the new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, six were a result of community transmission, including a man in his 80s who dined at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula. That cluster now numbers 42 people, the majority of which were not hotel patrons.
Another case last week worked while ill at the Thai Rock Restaurant in Wetherill Park while at least five COVID-19 cases have been found to frequent the nearby Stockland Mall.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant on Friday said anyone who has visited the Wetherill Park mall in the past 14 days should watch out for respiratory symptoms and seek testing, as should anyone who frequented the Thai restaurant from July 10 to 14.
Five additional cases were also recorded after 8pm.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says funerals and religious gatherings in NSW will from July 24 have a limit of 100 people while weddings and corporate events will be capped at 150 people.
Previously-announced restrictions on pubs and hotels – including a cap of 300 people, mandatory sign-ins and maximum group bookings of 10 people – will also be extended to all NSW hospitality venues, such as clubs and restaurants.
The 20-person limit for private indoor and outdoor gatherings remains in place for now but NSW Health has encouraged residents to keep gatherings below 10 people.
“What we need to do in NSW is minimise the risk of those activities which we know super-spread the virus, those activities indoors which we know act as a catalyst, and this will also take pressure off our health authorities,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Friday.
There were almost 24,500 tests performed in NSW over the reporting period.
Dr Chant, meanwhile, confirmed on Friday that pop-up testing sites around southwest Sydney amid the Crossroads Hotel cluster would not shut as originally intended.
Ms Berejiklian said industry associations were on board with the hospitality changes and that funerals carried an additional risk due to mingling and expressions of emotion.
But no dancing, singing or mingling would be permitted at NSW weddings.
“Appreciate that from one hotel, having to contact trace all those people, the resources it takes for their contacts and those contacts after that,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It is a good case study of how quickly and how widely the disease can spread and it is a good wake-up call for all of us, because I feel there was too much complacency in the community and we thought that the worst was behind us but unfortunately it is not.”
Victoria, meanwhile, recorded 428 new COVID-19 cases.