In today's media briefing, June 18, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that:

*the wearing of mask in public transport is COMPULSORY from 4pm today for the next five days, in Greater Sydney (excludes Central Coast, Illawarra and Wollongong)

*the wearing of mask  in indoor venues is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

She expressed concern over NSW recording a third Covid case connected to the eastern suburbs cluster.  She cautioned residents to be on “high alert”  and to continue practising hand sanitising, social distancing and checking in using the QR code.



She also appealed to all who experience symptoms to be tested and thanked the staff for their great work in contact tracing within hours of the first case being detected.

The latest Sydney outbreak was first detected on Wednesday when a limousine driver who transported flight crew tested positive.  Questions had been raised why the driver had not been vaccinated, despite being a frontline worker.

Berejiklian said the number of contractors and new employees in the quarantine system meant there was no guarantee that “100%” of workers would have been vaccinated.

She said in the media briefing yesterday morning: “People who are employed directly by police or NSW Health have all been vaccinated, but we also have to appreciate there are new people coming in every day to the system.”

Genomic testing has also revealed the current eastern suburbs outbreak to be the Delta variant, and a match for a strain that had been “uploaded in the US”.

In the meantime, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk used the social media to make the announcement that "From 1am on Saturday 19 June, all travellers entering Queensland from any state or territory will be required to complete the Queensland travel declaration."

In another tweet, Palaszczuk asked those who may be travelling to NSW, and specifically greater Sydney, to “reconsider” their travel plans.

The Queensland Travel Declaration Direction has been released by the Queensland Chief Health Officer.

“From 1am AEST Saturday 19 June 2021, anyone entering Queensland, including freight and logistics operators, who have travelled only to Australian states or territories where there are no Queensland declared Covid-19 hotspots are required to have a valid Queensland Travel Declaration. Fines of up $1334 may apply for anyone who does not comply with the Queensland Travel Declaration Direction.

Another development impacting on the vaccine roll out is the advice from the Australian Health authorities that AstraZeneca’s COVID 19  vaccine is no longer recommended for people aged 50 to 59, meaning they will instead be given Pfizer vaccines.

The guidance has changed because of “a higher risk and observed severity” of the blood clot syndrome in 50- to 59-year-olds than reported internationally and initially estimated in Australia.

(For updated exposure sites, check the NSW Health website:
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/)

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