NSW residents have been given a strong recommendation to wear masks in four key scenarios, as authorities continue to warn that the state is at a critical stage in its fight against the coronavirus.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has advised that people should wear a mask in enclosed spaces such as on public transport or when shopping for groceries; while working in customer-facing roles in hospitality or retail; when attending a place of worship; or when in an area of high community transmission.
Not compulsory but highly recommended
The premier stressed that masks are not compulsory in the state, a strong recommendation from the health authorities, given where NSW is in the pandemic and the risk posed from Victoria.
“Where you are in an enclosed space and you cannot guarantee social distancing, you should be wearing a mask,” she said.
“These are recommendations to keep all of us safe and they’re recommendations to make sure we keep New South Wales in the position we are in. I cannot stress enough how critical the next few weeks are.”
Victoria poses a significant threat to NSW
Discussing the more serious situation unfolding in neighbouring Victoria, Berejiklian noted that the risk remained significant, despite closed borders.
“While Victoria is in the situation it is in, it automatically puts us at risk, because we know no matter how strict you are at the borders, no border is complete, nobody is impenetrable, as Queensland themselves have found out this week as well,” she said.
“We cannot pretend we are geographically separated from Victoria. We are not.”
Chief Health Officer outlines NSW’s new cases
Also present at the briefing was the state’s Chief Health Officer, Kerry Chant. She said the wearing of masks was just one of the key lines of defence, with the others being staying home if sick, social distancing and hand hygiene.
Chant stated that NSW recorded 12 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Saturday night.
One case is a childcare worker who worked at the Advanced Early Learning Centre at Merrylands in Western Sydney. The case is believed to be locally acquired and the source is unknown as yet.