Rising COVID-19 cases in New South Wales saw the highest single-day tally on Friday in the southwestern Australian state’s latest outbreak with 45 new infections, according to officials.

“Given the growing number of infectious cases in the community and unlinked cases of community transmission, COVID-19 restrictions will be tightened across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour,” said state premier Gladys Berejiklian in a statement.

“We understand this is a difficult time for the community and businesses. We thank them for their understanding and patience,” added Berejiklian.

Under the new restrictions, outdoor public gatherings were limited to two people, while only one person per household will be allowed to leave the home for shopping.

Browsing in shops was prohibited, while funerals gatherings were also limited to ten people as of Sunday, according to the premier.

“These tightened restrictions are based on health advice from the Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant.”

Berejiklian added that these restrictions were necessary due to the increasing number of unlinked cases in the community.

According to the state’s Health Ministry, the total number of cases in New South Wales rose to 5,920 with the new infections.

Initial cases of the cluster were reported last month from a shopping mall in Bondi, a famous beachside suburb and tourist spot in eastern Sydney, while the infections have now spread to other areas.

Australia has so far reported 30,955 cases with 910 deaths from the coronavirus, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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