NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that anyone who intends to visit the CBD on New Year's Eve will be required to have a permit or be able to demonstrate a booking at a café, restaurant or hotel. She also said the order will be established to create a CBD exclusion zone to limit the number of people gathering for parties and other New Year's Eve events.
Details of the plans for Sydney's New Year Eve celebrations were announced, to be rolled out in the coming weeks. Ms Berejiklian said that only with confirmed booking with restaurants and cafes would be allowed to be in the CBD and there will be designated spots for celebrations.
Ms Berejiklian announced the relaxation of rules to allow people to organise their Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations.
"Even though we're easing these restrictions as one-offs, it doesn't reduce how contagious the virus is or how concerned we might be if suddenly an outbreak consumed a large number of people in a particular location," she said.
"This can only work if all of us stick together and do the right thing."
The easing of restrictions as New South Wales reaches its 13th consecutive day of no locally acquired COVID-19 cases. There were three cases of COVID-19 recorded in returned travellers in hotel quarantine, bring the total number of virus cases to 4328 since the pandemic began.
The state's zero-cases record comes as health authorities monitor the ongoing situation in South Australia where the state has entered its second day of lockdown. NSW health has urged anyone who has been in SA since November 6 to monitor the SA Health alert page for venues of concern. It is also important that they self-isolate if they have been to any venues where this is advised, and get tested if symptoms appear.
In the meantime, the Premier has another issue to contend with. She has sacked a parliamentary secretary for voting against her government's controversial land clearing bill and said she will revert to old koala protection laws until a new policy can be drafted.