The new rules apply to Greater Sydney, including Wollongong, the Central Coast and Blue Mountains.

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NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has provided a breakdown of the seven new local cases recorded in the state on Saturday.

Five of the cases are linked to the Berala cluster identified yesterday. There are now six cases linked to the initial infection in a man in his 40s: his five household contacts and a co-worker.

The sixth case is a household contact of the transport worker who acquired their infection from transporting returned travellers at Sydney Airport. This is the second family member of the worker to test positive, and one co-worker has also tested positive.

The final case is under investigation. They live in inner south-western Sydney.

An additional 12 cases were reported in hotel quarantine during the 24-hour period.

Dr Chant thanked western Sydney residents for coming forward for testing.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant provide a coronavirus update on Saturday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant provide a coronavirus update on Saturday. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

“I cannot stress enough how pleased I was to see a text from the district indicating that there were queues for testing in western Sydney,” she said, noting there were multiple testing locations which would be provided with more resources.

“I am really gratified to see the response from the community and we need that response,” she added.

The Chief Health Officer encouraged anyone who was at BWS Berala between Tuesday, December 22 and this Thursday (New Year’s Eve) to check the list of venues for exposure details after a person attended at repeated times which infectious.

She also drew attention to two new venues of concern: The Australian Motor Traders on Haberfield Road from 4.30pm to 5pm on Tuesday and Officeworks Punchbowl from 3.35pm to 3.45pm on the same day.

Lockdown lifted

The lockdown on the lower part of the northern beaches has also been lifted, with residents who live south of Narrabeen Bridge now being treated in line with Greater Sydney under the public health order, the Premier announced, thanking the region for their patience.

“Thankfully, according to the health advice, the risk of transmission in that part of the northern beaches has dissipated and, as I foreshadowed yesterday and the day before, there is a greater risk at this stage of community transmission in parts of western Sydney, which we are obviously trying to get on top of,” she said.

The lockdown measures will remain in place in the northern part of the northern beaches until January 9, which the Premier described as a “worse case”.

Victoria cases linked to NSW

The announcement comes as genomic sequencing directly linked Victoria’s coronavirus outbreak to the NSW northern beaches cluster.

All of Victoria’s 10 new locally acquired cases have been connected to the current Black Rock cluster, meaning there are no new cases with an unknown origin.

Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said on Saturday that two of the 10 cases were announced by New South Wales on Friday, but those people are “now back in Melbourne, completely appropriately, and they are isolating here”.

More to come

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