The NSW premier says the public transport system hasn’t buckled under pressure as students returned to public schools full time and more people headed back to on-site work.
Gladys Berejiklian says she is very happy people weren’t rushing on to public transport as they eased their way into more normal activities with the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions.
“The public transport system to date doesn’t seem to have buckled under pressure,” she said on Monday.
“I’m very pleased there hasn’t been a mad rush, that people are considering their options and doing it in a very considered way.”
The premier once again urged people with the mildest symptoms to come forward and get tested, especially as more people move around and as NSW moves into the winter months.
“We will only get through this pandemic with some semblance of normal life if people with the mildest symptoms come forward and get tested,” she said.
Hundreds of extra security and marshalling officers are out in force across the vast transport network to monitor social distancing and prevent overcrowding on public transport.
Under COVID-19 prevention measures, Sydney buses can carry just 12 people, train carriages can have 32 passengers and a Manly ferry can transport 245 people.
Berejiklian said her government has taken a very conservative approach towards public transport compared with other parts of the world.
The government has “options” to change this in the future.
The return to classrooms comes two months after COVID-19 restrictions forced around 800,000 public school children to study remotely.
Some independent and Catholic schools also returned on Monday while others were working towards a June 1 return date.
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the return to school had gone very well.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance warned train stations could be temporarily closed if there was overcrowding.
He told Nine Network on Monday that parents should drive their children to school if possible and if people could work from home, they should or at the very least, they should avoid travelling at peak times.
Asked if public transport was safe, Constance said it was “if people stay 1.5 metres away from each other.”
Meanwhile, beauty salons in NSW will be able to open for business from June 1 as the state government further eases COVID-19 restrictions.
Before reopening, businesses will have to have a COVID-19 safe plan, which includes removing books and magazines from waiting areas, stepping up hygiene protocols, and keeping a record of attendance.
No more than 10 clients will be allowed inside salons at any one time and four square metres of space must be allowed per person.
Zoos, reptile parks and aquariums will also be reopening from next Monday with extra safety measures, including limited visitor numbers.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in NSW is 3090, with one person in intensive care.
By Dominica Sanda