That means only leaving your home if it is for essential purposes such as for work, for
compassionate grounds, for exercise or to go shopping.
The Premier has also asked the rest of Sydney to avoid unnecessary activity, and flagged the possibility of further restrictions being put in place tomorrow for the Greater Sydney area.
The priority for health authorities on Saturday will be preventing the virus seeding from the northern beaches to other parts of Sydney.
From the outbreak epicentre in Avalon, people unknowingly infected with the virus scattered across Sydney by Friday to Redfern, Lane Cove, North Sydney, Bondi and Cronulla, out to Penrith and Riverstone in the west.
Preliminary genome sequencing confirmed the virus strain was imported from the US. Virus samples from the Avalon cluster came close to matching a virus sample in a woman who flew into Sydney on December 1 from the US and was in hotel quarantine.
But health authorities still don’t know how the virus was introduced to the northern beaches and all avenues of investigations are ongoing.
The cluster has left the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on a knife’s edge. Organisers will decide on Saturday morning whether the iconic event will be called off for the first time in its 75-year history due to the outbreak.
Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania have all banned travellers from Sydney’s northern beaches.
The Victorian government are awaiting the latest COVID-19 case numbers from NSW to determine whether they will enforce a total border closure between the states.
Victorian authorities have strongly discouraged travel between Victoria and Sydney until the new year and declared the northern beaches area a “red zone”.
Visitors from the northern beaches who arrive in Victoria from Saturday will be forced into a 14-day, $3000 hotel quarantine stay.
The announcement has shattered thousands of Christmas travel plans, and comes as Victoria marks almost 50 days without a local coronavirus case.
Victorian health authorities are contacting all airline passengers from NSW who arrived in Victoria form December 11, and any who had travelled from the northern beaches and other exposed NSW areas are required to get tested and self quarantine for 14 days from the date they were last in these “red zones”.
More to come.
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Jenny Noyes is a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald.
Kate Aubusson is Health Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.