SYDNEY, Australia: A child is among the nine new cases of locally-acquired Covid-19 cases in New South Wales.
Out of the nine new cases, which were detected out of almost 40,000 tests, eight are directly linked to the Avalon cluster.
Six of those eight cases are household contacts of existing cases and the other two are close contacts.
The ninth case could be a false positive or old infection, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Six new cases were also detected in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Some eased restrictions have also been announced for the Northern Beaches.
From Monday to Wednesday, the northern part of the Northern Beaches reverts to stay-at-home orders but people will be allowed to gather outside in groups of five people for recreation or exercise.
The southern part of the Northern Beaches also reverts to stay-at-home orders from Monday, but people can gather outside in groups of 10.
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant added 29 people who were on a flight from Sydney to Griffith are considered close contacts and should self-isolate.
The 28 passengers and one flight attendant were on the REX flight that departed Sydney at 2:10 pm on Monday, December 21 and arrived in Griffith at 4:20 pm.
It comes after a person who was on the flight later tested positive to Covid-19.
“The person flew before they knew they were a close contact of a case and did nothing wrong,” Dr Chant said.
Dr Chant also commended NSW residents on their behaviour on Boxing Day.
“From looking at the preliminary information we’re getting from the community’s response boxing day, I’m incredibly pleased with that response,” she said.
“But again it’s vital as we’re in this critical phase of this repose that people limit non-essential movements, avoid crowded spaces and if they do need to go shopping and out and about, wear a mask.”
Riot police were called to Bronte Beach in Sydney on Christmas afternoon to break up hundreds of people who were throwing a party in defiance of coronavirus restrictions.
A crowd of young people, many dressed in Santa hats, were seen chanting and dancing before they were eventually dispersed by police at about 5:00 pm.
Lucy Meyer, who witnessed the scene, told news.com.au there were so many of them, singing so loudly, that she “could still hear them from a 10-minute walk away”.
NSW recorded nine locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, with an additional six cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine. pic.twitter.com/khOj4aQkjN
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) December 26, 2020
“There were around 200-300 partying in the grass,” Ms Meyer said.
“A huge portion of the crowd were packed closely together, singing loudly and jumping up and down.
“There were plenty of cops standing around, but they didn’t seem to be doing anything to break up the crowd.
“It’s clearly against public health guidelines, and it puts people at risk at a time when so many Sydneysiders have sacrificed their holiday plans to protect others.”
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard slammed the group as “ignorant” and said it was “beyond belief” that they would risk gathering in large numbers, and risk spreading the virus.
“I get the desire for youthful Christmas exuberance, but this is as irresponsible, ignorant and idiotic as it gets,” he said.
“It’s a massive potential Covid-19 incubator.”
Meanwhile, NSW recorded its fourth straight day of single-digit local Covid-19 cases.
The outbreak now sits at 118 total cases, 108 of which are associated with the Avalon cluster on the northern beaches.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned the state was “not out of the woods” yet. She discouraged people from going into the Boxing Day sales in the CBD tomorrow.