Northern beaches cluster: Playgrounds, natural pools exempt

NSW northern beaches residents are allowed to attend playgrounds and public beaches under a new COVID-19 exemption, despite a growing virus cluster.

It comes as the state recorded seven new locally acquired infections on Sunday, with all but one linked to the cluster.

The rule change, which comes into effect immediately, allows people to enjoy outdoor exercise.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard signed the exemption to the Public Health (COVID-19 Northern Beaches) Order 2020 on Sunday.

It means residents from the northern beaches can use public outdoor playground equipment and natural swimming pools, and brings the area’s restrictions in-line with the rest NSW.

Adults from different households must maintain 1.5m apart from one another and all residents from the northern beaches must continue to comply with the public health order in place.

A natural swimming pool under the exemption contains untreated water from the ocean or other natural water sources and does not have a circulation system.

After a three-day reprieve over Christmas, residents from the area have returned to lockdown and can only leave home for one of four reasons.

Those from the region are only permitted to leave home for work or education, essential shopping, exercise and for health or compassionate care.

The changes come into effect as the number of cases linked to the Avalon cluster increased to 122.

On Sunday, health authorities said they were investigating five cases of COVID-19 that have no known source.



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