Canberrans told to stay away from Sydney’s Northern Beaches as COVID-19 cluster grows

Genevieve Jacobs 18 December 2020
COVID-19 testing

ACT residents have been urged to seek COVID testing if they have been to Sydney’s Northern Beaches and show symptoms. Photo: ACT Health.

Canberrans have been advised advised not to travel to the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, after NSW Health authorities announced last night that the COVID-19 cluster there had grown to 17.

ACT Health says any Canberrans who have been in the Northern Beaches area from Friday 11 December need to immediately self quarantine and get tested.

Anyone who has been in an affected location identified by NSW Health should contact the ACT Communicable Disease Control team on (02) 5124 9213 for further advice.

Northern Beaches residents from The Spit Bridge in Manly to Palm Beach have been asked to stay home as the coronavirus cluster in the area grows.

Earlier in the day, NSW Health authorities had identified five cases, but by the evening the cluster had mushroomed to 17 cases.

They are warning that there is likely to be more cases identified.

“As a number of new cases are currently being interviewed, it is likely that a number of new venues will be identified and that people in the northern beaches may have attended these venues,” NSW Health said in an alert issued this evening.

Western Australia and Queensland will require travellers from NSW to isolate on arrival and undergo testing. From noon today, Queensland will also ban anyone who has been in the area from visiting residential aged care, hospitals or correctional facilities.

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman has asked any ACT residents who have been to the area to keep up to date with the latest NSW Health alerts on affected locations and follow health advice.

“Any Canberrans who have recently travelled to the Northern area of the Northern Beaches should monitor the NSW Health website for affected locations and follow their instructions. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, runny or blocked nose,” Dr Coleman said.

“These recent cases are a timely reminder that as we come together to enjoy time with family and friends in the coming weeks, or travel over the summer holidays, please remember to be COVID-safe.”

The list of areas identified as hotspots currently includes a number of locations in the Avalon area, including the Avalon RSL Club and Avalon Bowling club, the Palm Beach female change rooms, as well as the Kirribilli Club and Penrith RSL.

However, the list of locations in NSW where COVID-19 cases have been identified is being frequently updated, so it is important to check regularly if you have travelled to NSW in the previous 14 days.

You can find a free COVID-19 testing clinic near you here.

ACT Health says they will be closely monitoring the situation over the next 24 hours.


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