Coronavirus updates LIVE: Sydney remains on high alert; northern beaches COVID cluster expected to grow
18th December 2020


  • The northern beaches coronavirus cluster stands at 28 cases as of early Saturday morning.
  • The Victorian government has declared the northern beaches area a “red zone”. All visitors from there who want to enter Victoria will be forced into a 14-day, $3000 hotel quarantine stay.
  • South Australia has banned anyone who visited Avalon Bowlo or the Avalon RSL from entering the state.
  • Western Australia is pressuring NSW to enforce tougher COVID-19 restrictions.
  • The global death toll from the coronavirus has passed 1.66 million, and more than 75 million people have been infected worldwide.

Christmas plans in pieces as Victoria discourages travel to Sydney

Victorian authorities have strongly discouraged travel between Victoria and Sydney until the new year due to the escalating coronavirus outbreak in Sydney’s northern beaches.

The announcement has shattered thousands of Christmas travel plans, and comes as Victoria marks almost 50 days without a local coronavirus case.

“If you are coming from Sydney and you don’t have to come, please don’t come. Come when this is over,” Victoria's Health Minister Martin Foley said on Friday afternoon. “If you’re travelling to Sydney and you don’t have to, please don’t.”

A positive COVID-19 case visited Cronulla RSL club in Sydney’s south on Wednesday, December 16. Credit:Anna Kucera

Confirmed cases travelled on the following transport services. Other passengers are considered to be casual contacts, and should get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.

  • Ferry from Palm Beach to Wagstaffe – 16 December, 6.15pm-6.35pm
  • Forest Coach Lines buses between Forestville and the CBD
    • Route 273, 15 December, Departing Jamieson Square, Forestville, 7.10am and arriving QVB, 8am
    • Route 271, 15 December, Departing QVB 5.25pm and arriving Austlink Business Park Belrose 6.28pm
    • Route 273, 16 December, Departing Jamieson Square, Forestville 7.10am and arriving QVB, CBD, 8am
    • Route 271, 16 December, Departing QVB 5.25pm and arriving Austlink Business Park Belrose, 6.28pm

    NSW Health poised to announce another spike in cases

    Good morning and welcome to our continuing live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, as NSW tries to rein in an outbreak on Sydney's northern beaches.

    The cluster grew to 28 cases on Friday, and NSW Health authorities are poised to announce another spike in cases on Saturday, which may trigger new rules and restrictions.

    NSW Health has issued a strong advisory for those living in Sydney’s northern beaches to wear a mask at all times, even when visiting indoor areas. Residents there have already been told to stay home as much as possible and to avoid high-risk venues such as cafes, pubs and restaurants as well as gyms and places of worship.

    Beaches from North Palm Beach to Manly will be closed until Monday, while a number of council facilities including libraries and aquatic centres will be closed until Sunday.

    Authorities believe that, from the outbreak epicentre in Avalon, people unknowingly infected with the virus scattered across Sydney to Redfern, Lane Cove, North Sydney, Bondi and Cronulla, out to Penrith and Riverstone in the west.

    Stick with us throughout the day and we'll bring you the latest news at it develops.

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