Women sheltering from the rain at Bilgola Beach this morning .

Women sheltering from the rain at Bilgola Beach this morning .Credit:Tanya Lake

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Ms Berejiklian said she did not expect the lockdown in the northern zone to be extended further.

“I can say with some level of confidence that is pretty much the worst-case scenario so following the 9th of January we anticipate people in the northern part of the northern beaches will also then become part of Greater Sydney,” she said. “We want to thank people in that community for their patience, in particular businesses that are doing it tough.”

Greater Sydney residents will have to wear masks in some public indoor spaces from midnight on Saturday, with a $200 fine for those caught flouting the new rules.

Ms Berejiklian said it would be compulsory to wear a mask in a number of settings including shopping centres, public transport, attending an entertainment venue such as a cinema, places of worship, hair and beauty salons and gaming areas of establishments. Staff at hospitality venues will also have to wear a mask.

Manly MP James Griffin tweeted in celebration: “Manly is back!”

“Great feedback from very excited local business owners who are getting ready to welcome back customers”.

Ms Berejiklian said Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and other ministers were liaising with the chambers of commerce and businesses about providing support to northern beaches businesses in the coming weeks.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the reason the northern zone was not coming out of lockdown was because of a higher rate of infection given the population density in the area was low.

The southern part of the northern beaches is now under the same restrictions as Greater Sydney.

The southern part of the northern beaches is now under the same restrictions as Greater Sydney. Credit:Roger Stonehouse

She said in the week ending December 21, there were 67 cases in the area, which was a rate of 90 per 100,000 people. That compared to the southern zone, which had a rate of 3 per 100,000, and the rest of Greater Sydney where the rate was 0.4.

The following week, that area had 19 cases, and the week after that it was down to five.

People in Avalon and other suburbs in the top end of the northern beaches will have to wait until January 9 to see if restrictions are lifted.

People in Avalon and other suburbs in the top end of the northern beaches will have to wait until January 9 to see if restrictions are lifted. Credit:Tanya Lake

“It really shows that that northern part of the northern [beaches] bore the brunt of the seeding events and the residents of those communities were the most impacted,” Dr Chant said.

“We are confident because of the action of the residents of the northern zone, their compliance with stay-at-home orders, their compliance with restrictions, we haven’t seen any locally acquired cases in the northern zone but for an abundance of caution we do want to keep that locked down until January 9.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said almost 43 per cent of residents in the northern beaches had been tested, which was “extremely high”.

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