There’s one new case of locally acquired COVID-19 in NSW and seven cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there had been 14,382 tests in the 24 hours until 8pm on Tuesday, but urged more people to get tested.
The new local case was a household contact of another case in southwest Sydney who had been isolating before being diagnosed.
The premier urged all businesses to spend five minutes getting the QR code to electronically track any visitors to their venue.
“We really do need businesses to do that because we need to build resilience ahead of the Christmas season,” she told reporters on Wednesday.
She also welcomed the Tasmanian government’s decision to open its borders to people from NSW from November 6 and said she hoped Queensland did likewise in an announcement expected on Friday.
Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said authorities were still dealing with three clusters in southwest Sydney and although case numbers were low it was vital more people got tested as the festive season began.
“This is now a critical period,” she said.
“We know that if this virus gets a foothold in the community it can go off like a wildfire, particularly as we ease restrictions, particularly if we drop our guard in terms of those COVID-safe practices,” Dr Chant said.
“As we go into Christmas we know that people are going to be welcoming people into their homes … and household celebrations … present challenges for COVID transmission.”
NSW Health was using COVID traces found in sewage catchment areas to identify hotspots and issue alerts to those communities where people need to be on alert for symptoms and get tested.
Dr Chant said there were guidelines on the NSW Health website on how to participate safely in Halloween on Saturday, including using wrapped lollies and maintaining social distancing.
“And please don’t trick or treat if you’re unwell – you should be down getting a COVID test,” she said.
Earlier Ms Berejiklian said she’d be watching how Victoria goes controlling the spread of COVID-19 over the next two weeks before she considers opening the border with the southern state.
Melbourne’s 15-week COVID-19 lockdown ended on Wednesday with restaurants, cafes, pubs and retail stores reopening and families reuniting.
“We’re going to keep a close eye on that and if we see that within a couple of weeks of those restrictions being eased the virus is still under control, then we’ll have no issue with taking the border down,” she said on Wednesday.
“We don’t want the border there for a day longer than it needs to be but we also need to be sensible.
Australian Associated Press