Sydney COVID-19 restrictions extended despite no new local cases

Sydney’s snap COVID-19 restrictions introduced on Thursday have been extended for another week, with one significant change to mask rules.

The extension comes despite New South Wales recording no new local cases again overnight.

Health authorities remain concerned about how an eastern Sydney couple in their 50s acquired their infections, as contact tracers fail to find a link with the genomically-linked US case who entered hotel quarantine in Sydney on April 26.

“Despite extensive investigations to date, NSW Health has not identified how the initial case, the man in his 50s, was exposed to COVID-19, which suggests he acquired the infection through brief contact with a currently unidentified person who was infectious in the community,” NSW Health wrote in a statement.

Restrictions around mandatory masks, a limit of 20 people gathering inside homes and visits to aged care facilities are now scheduled to end at 12.01am on Monday, May 17.

Singing and dancing is also banned indoors, with the exception of weddings, and pub-goers must remain seated while drinking.

The extended rules apply across Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Illawarra and the Blue Mountains.

However, rules around mask use have been eased slightly, with masks no longer compulsory for customers shopping at retail stores.

Commuters wearing masks disembark from the light rail at Central Station in Sydney.
Masks will remain mandatory on public transport and in other indoor public spaces until Monday, May 17. (Getty)

Masks continue to be mandated for retail staff in public-facing roles.

There were six new cases of coronavirus found in the state’s quarantine hotels in the past 24 horus.

The results come from just over 18,000 tests – down from a high of over 22,000 the day before.

The rule tweaks come after a new health alert was issued yesterday for a Woolworths in Sydney’s eastern suburbs after the store was visited by a positive case.

Anyone who was at the Woolworths supermarket on the corner of Kiaora Lane and Kiaora Road in Double Bay last Monday, May 3, between 10.45am and 11am has been deemed a casual contact.

They must get tested for coronavirus immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result.

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