NSW Premier reveals NYE and Christmas plans as state approaches COVID milestone

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced how the state will be able to celebrate Christmas and New Year this year.

The NSW premier said residents will only be allowed into Sydney’s CBD on New Year’s Eve if they have a booking at a restaurant or a ticket for an event.

“Apart from that, stay home or stay in your suburbs,” Berejiklian said.

However, designated areas will be set up for frontline workers including healthcare workers, emergency services, transport workers and cleaners.

Those people will get a prime seat at premium locations – including the Opera House, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, Campbell’s Cove and the Cahill Expressway – for the midnight fireworks display.

Anyone entering the CBD or restricted areas in North Sydney on New Year’s Eve will have to apply for a NYE permit.

Those who live in the CBD or visiting will also need to apply to make sure “we don’t have thousands of people roaming around because that’s not COVID safe,” Berejiklian said.

“So long as you’ve got somewhere to go to that’s safe in a COVID-safe way you can apply for a permit,” she said.

A specific public health order will be made for NYE and will give police the power to move on people in Sydney’s CBD.

To prevent large crowds from gathering at vantage points outside the CBD, the midnight fireworks display has been reduced to just seven minutes.

“New Year’s Eve this year is about celebrating all of the good things that have happened this year,” Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said.

“It’s also about saying goodbye to 2020 and looking forward to 2021 in a very optimistic way but to do that we have to do it in a COVID-safe way.”

Restrictions eased
Berejiklian also said from November 23 up to 3000 people will be able to gather outside for Christmas events, such as carols concerts, so long as there are COVID-safe requirements in place.

Outdoor religious services will also be increased to 500 people, provided the audience is seated.

From December 1, the number of people allowed at funerals will increase to 300.

NSW recorded no new local cases of coronavirus on Thursday for the 12th day in a row.

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