20 December 2020

NSW recorded 30 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, and an additional six cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Of the 30 locally acquired cases reported today, 28 are linked to the Avalon cluster. Investigations are ongoing into the source of the remaining two cases, both of whom live on the Northern Beaches. There are now 68 cases associated with the Avalon cluster, the source of which remains under investigation.

The total number of cases in NSW is 4,559 since the beginning of the pandemic.

There were 28,210 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with 12,374 in the previous 24 hours.

NSW Health thanks the Northern Beaches community and those throughout Sydney for their excellent response to calls to get tested and for following public health advice. These actions are critical if we are to stop community transmission.

Confirmed cases (including interstate residents in NSW health care facilities) 4,559
Deaths (in NSW from confirmed cases) 55
Total tests carried out 3,692,747

Due to the growing risk to the people of NSW from the evolving Avalon COVID-19 outbreak, new restrictions will be introduced for Greater Sydney from tonight to reduce the risk of further community transmission. From 11.59pm tonight:

  • Household gatherings will be limited to 10 visitors (until 11.59pm on Wednesday 23 December).
  • The one person per four square metre rule will be re-introduced for all indoor settings, including hospitality venues and places of worship.
  • A cap of 300 people will apply for hospitality venues and places of worship.
  • Singing and chanting performances in indoor venues will not be allowed.
  • Dancefloors will not be permitted, except for weddings, when a maximum of 20 from the wedding party will be permitted.

People in the Greater Sydney area, including the Central Coast, Illawarra Shoalhaven and Nepean Blue Mountains regions, are also urged not to visit residential aged care facilities, disability services or vulnerable people unless it is critical. This advice will be re-assessed on Wednesday 23 December.

People across the Greater Sydney are also advised to wear masks in indoor settings such as shops and hospitality venues, in line with advice already issued to those in the Northern Beaches.

‘Stay at home’ orders in place for residents of the Northern Beaches local government area (LGA) will also continue until 11.59pm on Wednesday 23 December to control the spread of COVID-19. Further clear advice will be provided to the community before Christmas.

Under yesterday’s Public Health Order, all residents of the Northern Beaches LGA are required to stay at home, unless permitted to leave for certain reasons.

Acceptable reasons for leaving home include shopping for food and other essential goods and services; travelling to work or an educational institution if working or studying from home is not possible; exercising; seeking medical care; providing carer’s responsibilities and meeting compassionate needs. It is strongly recommended masks are worn when leaving isolation for these permitted reasons.

Any residents of the Northern Beaches LGA who left the area on or since Thursday 10 December 2020 must comply with the same restrictions that apply to the Northern Beaches, regardless of their current location.

Non-residents who have visited the Northern Beaches on or after Thursday 10 December should monitor closely for symptoms and get tested if any appear, no matter how mild. Anyone who visited the Northern Beaches since 10 December is also urged to check the NSW Government website for locations visited by confirmed cases and follow the associated health advice for the relevant venues if they have visited any of them: Latest news and updates.

This Public Health Order also requires the closing of hospitality venues and function centres in the Northern Beaches LGA, with the exception of businesses offering takeaway food. Gyms and places of worship will also close. Further information on the Public Health Order is available from the NSW Government website at Restrictions for Northern Beaches.

Of the new cases to 8pm last night:

  • 28 cases are locally acquired and linked to the Avalon cluster
  • Investigations are ongoing into the source of the remaining two cases, both of whom live on the Northern Beaches
  • Six were acquired overseas and are in hotel quarantine.

COVID-19 cases linked to the Avalon cluster have visited many locations throughout Sydney, including a number of venues outside of the Northern Beaches. A full list of locations and public transport routes, and the associated public health advice, is available from the NSW Government website at Latest news and updates. This information is updated throughout the day as new locations are identified.

NSW Health has revised the advice related to an Avalon gym in light of further confirmed cases. Anyone who attended Anytime Fitness on Avalon Parade any day on or after Tuesday 8 December is considered a close contact and should get tested immediately and self-isolate for 14 days after they were last at the gym.

Anyone who attended the gym between Monday 23 November and Monday 7 December is advised to get tested and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

There is also updated advice in relation to Avalon RSL Beach Club. Anyone who attended the club at the following dates and times is considered a close contact and is required to get tested immediately and isolate for 14 days: Monday 14 December, 5pm to 10.30pm; Tuesday 15 December, 12pm to 5pm, and Wednesday 16 December, 4pm-12am (midnight).

Anyone in NSW with even the mildest symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat or runny nose, is asked to come forward immediately for testing, then isolate until a negative result is received.

To increase testing options for the Northern Beaches community, new pop-up clinics have been opened this week. There are more than 300 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week. To find your nearest clinic visit COVID-19 clinics or contact your GP.

NSW Health is treating 69 COVID-19 cases, none of whom are in intensive care. Most cases (96 per cent) are being treated in non-acute, out-of-hospital care, including returned travellers in the Special Health Accommodation.

Likely source of confirmed COVID-19 cases in NSW

Likely source of infectionCases past 24 hours*Cases past 7 days**All cases
Overseas 6352,528
Interstate 0090
Locally acquired – linked to known case or cluster 28681,505
Locally acquired – no links to known case or cluster01434
Locally acquired – investigation ongoing 222
Under initial investigation000

Note: Case counts reported for a particular day may vary over time due to ongoing investigations and case review.

*notified from 8pm 18 December 2020 to 8pm 19 December 2020
**from 8pm 13 December 2020 to 8pm 19 December 2020

Returned travellers in hotel quarantine to date

Since 29 March 2020Count
Symptomatic travellers tested 8,059
Found positive 167
Since 30 June 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 2 59,701
Found positive
Since 15 May 2020Count
Asymptomatic travellers screened at day 1071,940
Found positive163