As New South Wales enters the 25th day of zero transmission, the Premier Ms Gladys Berjeklian announced further easing of COVID 19 restrictions.
Face masks are no longer mandatory in hair and beauty salons, places of worship and gaming rooms in Greater Sydney from today, February 12, 2021.
People working in hospitality venues like cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants will also no longer need to don a mask.
However masks remain mandatory on public transport, in taxis and in ride-sharing services.
In addition, the 4 square metre rule had been replaced with the 2 square metre rule, with the exception of gyms.
In the meantime, the Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews at this afternoon's media briefing announced a statewide lockdown from 11.59pm for five days based on the advice of health authorities.
The Premier said:
"There will only be four reasons to leave your home...
"Shopping for what you need, when you need it. Caregiving for compassionate reasons. Essential work or permitted education where that cannot be done from home. Exercise for two hours per day, with your household members, your intimate partner, or one other person who is not from your household or your partner.
"You must stay within 5km of your home other than for permitted work, or if you need to go shopping for things you need when you need them, and you cannot access those things that are, again, common sense tells you if they’re essential, if they can’t wait until Thursday, then you would be permitted to be beyond the 5km limit.
"Masks must be worn everywhere - everywhere - in Victoria other than in your home.
He further clarified that: no visitors allowed in homes; no public gatherings; places of worship are closed; funerals are limited to 10 people; weddings are not allowed unless on compassionate grounds; no gyms; people to work from home; child care only available to those who cannot work from home; restaurants adn cafes are closed, with take-aways allowed. Also no sporting events but Australia Open will continue without crowds in the five days.
He added: "We are now facing a fast moving variant more communicable than COVID 19 in 2020. This is not the 2020 virus; it is much faster."
At this stage, NSW Premier Berjeklian said that NSW is not considering shutting down border to Victoria but will be monitoring the situation and take advice from the chief health officer. Northern Territory, Queensland Tasmania and Western Australia are looking to shutdown their borders to Victoria.