NSW ‘Likely’ Exposed to Victoria Outbreak

July 14, 2020 Updated: July 14, 2020

Suburbs near a COVID-19 cluster at a Sydney pub will not be locked down while the NSW premier concedes Victoria’s COVID-19 outbreak has “no doubt” impacted the state.

The number of COVID-19 cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula in Sydney’s southwest hit 30 on the evening of July 14. Of these cases, 14 are people who attended the pub.

While the source of the outbreak has yet to be identified, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the investigation demonstrates there is “no doubt” the Victorian outbreak has affected NSW.

“It’s highly likely that given the evolving situation in Victoria that NSW was exposed to underlying community transmission from that state,” she told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

Berejiklian was asked if she would consider locking down the suburbs near the Casula pub after the Queensland government declared Sydney’s Liverpool and Campbelltown local government areas as COVID-19 hotspots.

The NSW premier said the measure wasn’t being considered “at this stage”.

Residents of Liverpool and Campbelltown will be barred from entering Queensland, while Queensland-based visitors will be forced into 14 days of hotel quarantine once they return home.

Berejiklian also announced a tightening of restrictions in response to the Casula outbreak with a limit of 300 people at pubs and hotels, and group bookings to be capped at 10 people.

It will be mandatory for pubs and hotels to download and register the COVID-19 safe plan and take down contact details of all patrons.

Venues with a capacity of more than 250 people will be required to have a full-time marshal on site to enforce COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The changes don’t apply to clubs, restaurants or The Star casino and will come into effect from 12.01am on Friday.

Chant said other venues across Sydney may have been exposed to the virus between June 27 and July 10 after visits from people linked to the outbreak.

These include The Star casino in Sydney, Picton Hotel, the Planet Fitness gym, Canterbury Leagues Club, Narellan Town Centre and Zone Bowling in Villawood.

The NSW Australian Hotels Association supports the stricter COVID-19 measures, and chief executive John Whelan said the industry had to do its part in halting the spread of the virus.

Police are also ramping up compliance checks with officers making about 300 home visits in the past 24 hours to ensure people who returned from Victoria are self-isolating for 14 days.

Meanwhile, South Australia will delay its border opening with NSW, which was set down for July 20.

Dominica Sanda and Angelo Risso in Sydney