Acting premier John Barilaro has urged regional residents not to go to the test cricket in Sydney this week.
The NSW Government is under pressure regarding its decision to allow up to 24,000 spectators into the ground and Mr Barilaro has said there will be a further announcement regarding crowd regulations this afternoon.
Meanwhile, despite saying the event will be COVID-safe he has urged regional residents not to go, "...I know for regional people the New Year’s Test is something which is an annual pilgrimage. We love coming to Sydney for this purpose and a lot of the members are from regions. In normal times I would say that is fantastic but I would be saying to people today to consider what’s occurring in Sydney with the infections and the restrictions.
In regional and rural New South Wales right now, we’re enjoying no restrictions, we got to have the summer and the Christmas we were robbed last year because of bushfires and drought, we got to have that this year. The risk would be that if someone from the regions comes to Sydney that they could take it back to a regional area. My advice to people would be – think about it, reconsider, maybe this year isn’t the year to come to Sydney to watch the Test and that’s what we’ll be doing. I’m not going to be enforcing people or putting in a direction for people not to come to Sydney but I think people, and I know regional people use common sense, and they will reconsider their visit."
Overnight two new cases have been reported from the emerging Berala BWS cluster in Sydney's west. The cluster is concerning health authorities. Two employees with COVID-19 worked at the liquor store from December 22 to December 31, with thousands of people visiting the store over the Christmas and New Year’s period. All have been urged to isolate immediately and get tested.