More Testing Needed in New South Wales: Premier

January 19, 2021 Updated: January 19, 2021

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants more local residents to be tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, before she eases restrictions.

The state has recorded zero new locally acquired cases for the third day in a row while the northern beaches and Berala clusters have appeared to have been all but stamped out.

Testing numbers have nearly doubled after the government’s plea on Tuesday morning, with 19,959 people tests occurring in the 24 hours to 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening, up from 10,621 the day before.

However, this number is still a long way short of the daily record, set at above 60,000 tests in one day just before Christmas as the northern beaches cluster spread.

“We’re definitely in the space of wanting to ease those restrictions that are in place currently but it depends on the rate of testing and the number of cases,” Berejiklian told reporters. “Unfortunately the testing rates are still too low for the liking of the health experts and they want to see that rate go up.”

Greater Sydney, Central Coast, and Wollongong residents are currently required to wear masks indoors when out of their homes.

Households can only have five visitors a day, including adults and children. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 30 people.

Restrictions on weddings, funerals and religious services could also be in line for changes.

Meanwhile, NSW Police are investigating potential rule breaches at a party in North Bondi on Sunday evening.

A video posted online showed a large group of people dancing near the beach despite limitations.

Commissioner Mick Fuller told 2GB radio on Tuesday that police would continue to take such complaints seriously.

“If we don’t take those type of complaints seriously then we’ll get complacency in the community, people won’t wear masks, they won’t do the right thing,” Fuller said.