New South Wales is at its most critical point in the pandemic since the lockdown in March and April, and residents must avoid travel wherever possible in an effort to reduce community transmission.
This is the warning made on Wednesday by NSW authorities amidst concerns that the state is by no means “out of the woods” as it seeks to avoid becoming another Victoria.
This is our most critical time, says Premier
“This is the most critical time for our state,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said during a press briefing that was also attended by the state’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kerry Chant.
“If we manage to get on top of the community transmission at this stage, we have a much better chance of continuing the move forward in a positive way, but the next few weeks are critical.
“We are not out of the woods by any stretch; quite the opposite,” she continued.
Avoid all travel unless it is unavoidable
At the heart of the pair’s message was that NSW residents should avoid all travel unless it is absolutely essential. This includes local and intrastate travel.
Berejiklian said authorities were on high alert and urged a similar focus by residents. “Eight million of us in New South Wales have to be on high alert,” she stated.
“It doesn’t matter where you live … The virus can come to your community,” Berejiklian emphasised. “You can unintentionally give it to another community.”
Chant points to the example of Thai Rock
Chant emphasised that although group bookings at hospitality establishments were officially limited to 10 people, the ideal would be if people stopped moving around completely in order to help block the chain of transmission.
She noted the example of the Thai Rock restaurant cluster, where there were now 37 infections linked to the venue, as an example of the rapid way in which the virus may spread.
“What we are suggesting over this next period of time, can everyone just reflect on their travel arrangements; their non-essential travel,” Chant stated.
“Can we limit non-essential travel for the next few weeks. Can we just reflect on the gatherings that we are going to go to or host and can we limit the numbers.”