NSW records 21,030 cases and 29 deaths as expert warns of Australia Day virus spike

Professor Halton said celebrations should not be canceled but people should be aware of wearing masks and social distancing.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet announced that state restrictions on masks, singing and dancing, QR codes and venue capacity would be extended for a month.

The restrictions, announced in December, were originally due to be lifted after the bank holiday this week.

Australian Medical Association NSW President Danielle McMullen said extending the restrictions was the right decision to make.


“I think the majority of the public will agree that keeping masks in place is essential to allow people to feel a little more confident to move around in the community,” she said on Channel Nine on Wednesday morning.

“To meet up with friends and family. And to go out to the shops and to go out, we have to do it safely and, to do that, we need masks inside.

Dr McMullen said she believes hospitalizations during the current wave of Omicron have peaked.

“There has been a small increase for a few days, but we hope it may just be a fluke,” she said.


“We still need to work hard to reduce the spread of COVID in the community.”

Professor Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, supported keeping most restrictions, but questioned the continued usefulness of QR code recording.

“If it’s a memory prompt to know where you’ve been or something that will make you more aware of symptoms, that’s good, but the virus moves so quickly that by the time you get the ‘ping’, you passed it on,” she said.

With Mary Ward

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