With covid infections increasing from hundreds to thousands per day within a week in NSW, concern has mounted over the Christmas and new year holiday breaks turning into superspreader COVID-19 events while the authorities remain indecisive over the level of restrictions in order to manage the third wave of the pandemic. 

However mask wearing indoors is now made compulsory with further updated restrictions to follow anytime soon including COVID-Safe check-ins to enter hospitality and retail premises from Monday 27 December 2021 till Wednesday 27 January 2022.

Anyone can attend a wedding, funeral or place of worship such as mosques:

  • You are not required to be fully vaccinated or carry vaccination evidence.
  • Face masks are required for indoor premises, subject to exemptions.

QR code check-ins/COVID-19 Safe Check-in is compulsory at places of worship, funerals, memorial services, or gatherings afterwards. Density limits no longer apply to weddings, funerals or memorials.

The authorities have asked people to reduce mingling as much as possible including when eating and drinking, work from home where possible and hold events outdoors.

The soaring case rates are affecting health workers, with about 1500 currently unable to come to work.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said new changes to indoor mask rules, indoor density limits and QR code check-ins would be implemented over the holiday period to avoid placing further strain on those workers.

“If you can work from home, please work from home,” Mr Perrottet said. “We do want to limit mobility, just as we get through this period of time and particularly in relation to ensuring that our health workers are able to be on the job and provide that care and support for those who are unwell.”

Most of the infections up to 80 per cent of new cases are attributed due to the Omicron variant, considered to be highly contagious but possibly not as deadly as the Delta variant.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant is encouraging people to register for their booster shot to further protect themselves against the new outbreak, saying, “The good news is that booster doses will increase your protection. And probably will have an impact on transmission.”