NSW Health Propose Renewed Covid Restrictions Ahead Of Cases Surging
Hazzard “not at all keen”
With cases expected to escalate over the coming weeks, NSW Health has recommended a raft of restrictions be reintroduced.
According to the Herald, the new advice includes the return of mandatory indoor masks, density limits, a ban on singing and dancing, and a return to working from home.
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The slew of recommendations was reportedly contained in an internal presentation to Health Minister Brad Hazzard, however said told the SMH that he was “not at all keen” to reintroduce the rules.
The minister said it would only be a “last resort”, even with a new sub-variant of Omicron growing into the dominant strain.
“As Health Minister I am not at all keen to be heading back the path that has exhausted everybody with all the restrictions. All that would be a last resort from my perspective," Hazzard told the Herald.
“We have had two rough, terrible years and the community has had restrictions up to the eyeballs. Bringing restrictions back in is the last possible course we want to go.”
Mr Hazzard said rising infections were “a major issue that the whole health team is watching very closely”, but he said the bigger concern at this point was the proportion of people who have not received a booster dose of a Covid vaccine.
“While the community may have gone to sleep on the virus, the virus hasn’t gone to sleep in the community,” he told a budget estimates hearing on Thursday.
“Anybody who has been watching the numbers in the last few days would notice we’ve seen an increase in apparent cases."
“It is concerning us greatly … we could be looking at cases more than double what we’re currently getting,” Mr Hazzard warned.
It follows recent predictions of the new BA.2 sub-variant spreading, driving NSW daily numbers to an estimated 25,000 cases in only a number of months.
NSW recorded 12,850 new cases on Saturday and four deaths. It was the fifth consecutive day with cases above 10,000.
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