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Nightclubs to close, elective surgery paused as NSW considers new restrictions

January 7, 2022 1:37 pm
[Source: NZ Herald]

The NSW government is set to announce a major reversal of multiple COVID-19 restrictions.

After a horror few weeks of skyrocketing infection numbers, furloughed staff across essential services and mass testing delays, this is in a bid to bring the Omicron caseload under control.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet will meet with the government’s Covid economic recovery committee this morning to sign off on the measures, which were decided following a meeting of the committee on Thursday.

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The changes – which come after the state reported 70,000 cases across the last 48 hours and another 38,625 cases on Friday – will include shutting nightclubs and banning singing and dancing in pubs, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Venues will be discouraged from allowing “vertical consumption” under the proposed changes, and there will also be a pause on some major events – risk-assessed by NSW Health – and certain elective surgeries.

The Premier flagged on Thursday that his government was “looking at suspending” some procedures.

“During the Delta outbreak, and the year before, we suspended elective surgery for a period of time. That is certainly something we are looking at now,” he told 2GB radio.

“At the moment, the healthcare system is strong, but we will need to make some changes – I suspect on elective surgery and I would also expect in terms of our work with the private health system.”

The new rules – for elective surgery at least – are set to come into effect on Monday.

As of Friday, there were 1738 people in hospitals across the state with Covid-19 and 134 of those in intensive care.

Government sources told the SMH the restrictions would not be branded a lockdown, but rather “safety measures”.

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