NSW to ease more restrictions, as Premier announces strict permit rules for NYE

NSW to ease more restrictions, as Premier announces strict permit rules for NYE

The NSW Government has announced a slew of new COVID-safe festive season rules, and has confirmed that New Years Eve in Sydney will be "very different" to previous years.

At a media conference on Thursday Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that the state would run just a short, seven minute fireworks display in the Sydney CBD.

The area will be severely restricted, with anyone wanting to go into central Sydney on December 31 required to have a permit.

Only people with an official booking at restaurants or other hospitality venues will be allowed in, as will a small number of frontline public service workers like nurses, police, cleaners and transport workers.

Sydney CBD residents and their guests can also apply for a NYE permit, but other Sydney residents are to remain in their suburbs or in their homes, the Premier said.

For the rest of the state, the government also announced changes to the public health order for regional councils, with guidelines allowing up to 3000 people to attend NYE outdoor events.

The updated rules will also cover Christmas carols events, with any audience members who want to sing required to wear masks.

The government also made some changes to rules for churches and funerals, bringing funeral numbers in line with with corporate events and weddings, which can have up to 300 people from December 1.

Outdoor church services will be able to have up to 500 people.

So far Ms Berejiklian said there was no movement on the number of people allowed to gather in the home - which remains at 20 - but flagged that changes being considered and may apply especially to people with an outdoor space.

She said gatherings in people's homes were still considered "a high risk activity".

Overnight, the state recorded no no community transmission, and five cases in hotel quarantine.

Ms Berejiklian said high rates of testing were giving her confidence the state is on top of any COVID-19 strains in the community.

There were 20,160tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with about 17,000 the previous 24 hours.Anchor

NSW Health is treating 64 COVID-19 cases, none of whom are in intensive care. Most cases - 97 per cent - are being treated by NSW Health in non-acute, out-of-hospital care.

This story NSW to ease more restrictions, as Premier announces strict permit rules for NYE first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.