NSW COVID restrictions: The mask mandate is back!

New South Wales COVID-19 restrictions are back as of midnight tonight… Well, it was fun while it lasted.

After only just getting rid of a few pesky rules, NSW will reintroduce QR code check-ins, the mask mandate and density limits.

In more exciting news, they’re going to provide free rapid antigen tests to all residents to avoid the ridiculous pile up at every testing facility.

Credit: Bianca de Marchi/AAP

The Premier said bringing back venue check-ins will help contact tracing and allow people to know if they have been exposed to the virus and has only just confirmed that he will in fact reinstate the mask mandate,

“As of midnight tonight, we will be requiring that masks are worn in indoor settings. We are encouraging people, particularly over the holiday period, if you can work from home, please work from home.” Dominic Perrottot stated at today’s press conference.

Perrottet also said there will be changes to density limits once again:

“We’ll be moving from hospitality venues indoors to two square metres from December 27 to January 27. And also the indoor face mask requirement will also be in place until January 27 as well. That’s just to ensure, as we move through this period of time, we do have that support for our health officers over this summer and holiday period.

In addition to that, we’re encouraging people not to mingle … when you’re out and about at a restaurant or cafe or a pub or a club, please, where possible, don’t mingle. We know that from a case we’ve seen in Newcastle, that singing and dancing and the like has been part of that increase in spread. So we just ask everybody, use personal responsibilities, please be cautious as we move through this phase.”

The Premier has also recommended that even if you are notified as a casual contact through the QR system, do not get a PCR test unless you are feeling unwell.

“At the moment what we’re seeing is that many people across the state who are asymptomatic and do not feel unwell are lining up for a PCR test. This is putting enormous pressure on the system and I thank everybody for their patience as we go through this period of time. But we need to make sure those people who need to get tested get tested in a timely way.

If you aren’t feeling unwell … [if] you receive a notification through the QR code system, the position that we have here in New South Wales is monitor for symptoms. If you do feel unwell, at that point in time, please go and get a PCR test.”

Moving forward, the government have suggested that Christmas be celebrated outdoors this year and they’re also excited to announce that NSW is expecting to get 300,000 boosters a week from January on to help us get back to normal.

Again. For what feels like the zillionth time.