Dancing, singing and singing were banned in Sydney in a new round of restrictions introduced on Sunday as Australian authorities rushed to control a growing coronavirus outbreak in the city.
As hundreds of thousands of people on Sydney’s northern beaches woke up on the first day of an instant lockdown, authorities said 30 more cases of coronavirus had been detected in the region.
This brings the Covid-19 cluster in Australia’s most populous city to 68 cases since it emerged on Thursday, raising alarm among health officials, who have issued stay-at-home orders for several edge suburbs sea.
The state of New South Wales – which includes Sydney – on Sunday announced a ban on dancing, singing and singing in the city’s indoor halls, except at small weddings and church services.
“This is the season we all love to sing,” said Health Minister Brad Hazzard.
“But right now, it’s probably one of the most dangerous exercises you can do, dance and sing. ”
Sydney restaurants, bars and cafes will be forced to limit customer numbers to 300, while caps have also been placed on home visits.
Wearing a mask is encouraged but is not made compulsory.
Officials have vowed to review the rules on Wednesday in the hope that some restrictions can be lifted before Christmas Day.
The latest outbreak has thrown Christmas plans into disarray as many Australians who hoped to be reunited with their families after lengthy separations have been forced to cancel their trips after further national border closures.
On Sunday, Victoria and South Australia became the latest states to announce that Sydney residents would be subject to a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine upon entry.
Australia has been largely successful in containing the virus, taking an aggressive approach focused on imposing early and often far-reaching restrictions in response to further outbreaks.
The country has recorded just over 28,100 cases of Covid-19 and 908 deaths in a population of around 25 million.
© 2020 AFP