Two New NSW COVID-19 Cases From 9700 Tests

By AAP
May 21, 2020 Updated: May 21, 2020

NSW has recorded two new COVID-19 cases from more than 9700 tests with one of the cases a student from an independent school in Sydney.

One of the new cases was a student from Saint Ignatius’ College in Riverview and another is a person who acquired the infection in Victoria. In total, three people are in intensive care.

The NSW premier has also flagged an increase with people allowed to dine in restaurants and cafes in the coming weeks as the government works to boost the economy after its battering by COVID-19.

Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday said her government has been working with the industry on increasing patronage in restaurants and cafes in June and July.

“The government will have more to say in the very near future about what restaurants and cafes will look like in June and July,” she told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

Currently, dining venues can allow up to 10 patrons if they maintain social distancing, including alcohol table service with a meal at NSW pubs and clubs.

Increasing patronage in June would align with the easing of regional travel restrictions across the state and the opening of museums, galleries and libraries from June 1.

The premier has also flagged plans to allow international students back into NSW, potentially through the hotel quarantine system in place for Australians returning home.

This would help support regional towns and universities relying on the sector for economic activity and employment, she added.

“We have demonstrated our capacity to process people in quarantine,” Berejiklian said.

“It’s opportune for us to consider when we can safely welcome back foreign students.”

The premier noted this wouldn’t be happening until after July and discussions are still underway with the federal government.

Meanwhile, former NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin is seeking legal advice to appeal the $1000 fine he received for breaching coronavirus-related restrictions, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday.

Harwin resigned in April as a state government minister after it was revealed he had decamped from his primary residence in Sydney’s Elizabeth Bay to his Pearl Beach holiday home on the Central Coast.

He was fined $1000 by NSW Police for acting “in contravention of a current ministerial direction under the Public Health Act”.

At the time, the Liberal MP argued he relocated in mid-March before the order was made.

It’s been confirmed that Mr Harwin is appealing the fine, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday.

The premier on Thursday also defended her calls for other states to re-open their borders, insisting it’s in the best interests for Australia.

“This isn’t personal,” she said.

“This is about doing what we believe is in the best interest of our citizens.”

By Dominica Sanda