SYDNEY has been rocked by new coronavirus cases with outbreaks in a McDonalds, pubs and gyms as Australia reaches a “critical point”.
New South Wales recorded 20 new cases on Monday, three of which have been linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula in the south-west of the city, bringing the number of cases in the cluster to 48.
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Another four new cases on Sunday were linked to the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club, on the New South Wales (NSW) south coast, pushing the cluster to eight cases.
Four diners had previously been reported and the venue had been closed for two weeks for deep cleaning.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said “hundreds and hundreds” of people who visited the venue between July 13 and 17 needed to self-isolate.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today she was “incredibly concerned’ and that NSW was at a “critical point” in the pandemic.
She said all the new cases were from known sources andurged people to “please consider avoiding crowds”.
Ms Berejiklian said: “If you cannot guarantee social distancing where you’re going, if you cannot guarantee people around you will respect that social distancing, you must wear a mask.
“We do have the chance to really get ahead of the virus, to control the spread if all of us take those extra steps this week.”
Last week she said she would avoid a second lockdown “at all costs” to protect jobs – but on Monday she said: “You never say never in a pandemic”.
The 20 new cases is the state’s highest since 21 cases were confirmed on April 29.
A total of 40 venues and businesses around the Australian state have been linked to coronavirus cases.
Another eight cases are now being linked with the Thai Rock restaurant at Stocklands Wetherill Park in the city’s western suburbs.
A new case has also been confirmed by NSW Health which has been linked to Paddington’s The Village Inn in the heart of the city.
Anyone who visited the pub between 6.30pm and 10pm on July 11 has been told to monitor for symptoms.
The Love Supreme Italian restaurant was also visited by a confirmed coronavirus case.
Health officials have advised anyone who visited the restaurant between 5.30pm and 9pm on July 14 to be on the lookout for symptoms.
Diners who went to the Holy Duck! restaurant in Chippendale, in the inner city, on July 10 between 7.15pm and 9.30pm has also been asked to immediately self-isolate.
A person with the coronavirus also visited Anytime Fitness Gym in Merrylands, in Greater Western Sydney, on July 14 from 9pm to 10:30pm.
Anyone who went to the gym is also advised to self-isolate and watch out for symptoms.
On July 15 an infected person visited McDonald’s at Albion Park, near Wollongong, between 2pm and 2.30pm.
Another infectious customer visited the family restaurant Rashays in North Wollongong between 7pm and 9.30pm on July 11.
Campbelltown, in southwest Sydney, is also home to an outbreak of cases across a number of venues.
A Covid-19-positive person attended the Macarthur Tavern in Campbelltown on Saturday July 11 between 9pm and midnight.
The nearby Wests Leagues Club Macarthur shut last week for deep cleaning after a person carrying the virus visited the club.
Picton Hotel, in Sydney’s southwest, closed for cleaning last week after a patron tested positive for Covid-19.
NSW Chief Health Minister Kerry Chant said anyone who visited Narellan Town Centre’s Kmart, Target, Best and Less, H&M and the food court on July 6 should look out for symptoms.
The virus has also spread further south to Bowral, in the Southern Highlands, where a Woolworths employee has tested positive.
NSW Deputy Chief Health Officer Jeremy McAnulty warned NSW residents to follow social distancing as much as possible.
“It wouldn’t take much for us to be in Melbourne’s situation and we need everyone’s assistance,’ he said over the weekend.
“Everyone has got a role to play. Don’t be complacent.”
NSW will introduce tougher border restrictions with Victoria from midnight on Tuesday with a border zone set up along the Murray River.
All current travel permits will be cancelled and residents in the border zone who wish to move between the states will have to reapply.
Travel will only be permitted for work, education or for medical care, supplies or health services.
Victoria has recorded 275 cases of coronavirus.
Victoria’s figure is less than Sunday’s total of 363 and well below Friday’s record of 428, giving hope the spread is decreasing during Melbourne’s six-week lockdown.