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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says a new health order will be issued by New Year’s Eve as the state records its 12th consecutive day with no locally acquired COVID cases.

There are only five cases of the virus in hotel quarantine in the state. More than 20,000 people took the test until 8 pm yesterday.

Berejiklian said that a specific public health order will be established by December 31 to create a CBD exclusion zone.

She said that anyone who intends to visit the CBD on New Year’s Eve will need to have a permit or be able to prove a reservation at a cafe, restaurant or hotel.

“We don’t want people to roam the city because that is not safe for COVID,” Berejiklian said.

“Even if you are visiting a friend who lives in the CBD, you will need to apply for a permit.”

He said CBD residents will also need a New Year’s Eve pass, which can be requested through the Service NSW app starting December 7.

“There will only be a fireworks display for seven minutes at midnight,” he said.

The outdoor spaces to see the fireworks in the city will be designated only for frontline workers.

All others are encouraged to stay home, or in their suburbs, to bring in the new year.

“Although we are reducing these restrictions as a one-time, it does not reduce how contagious the virus is or how concerned we might be if an outbreak suddenly consumed people in a particular location,” said Ms Berejiklian.

Social distancing requirements

The four square meter social distancing rule will remain in effect for non-fixed seating areas, however fixed seating places will allow one person for every two square meters by New Years Eve.

Berejiklian said the widespread implementation of the one person by two square meter rule is still being evaluated.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian provides the COVID-19 update on Thursday, November 19, 2020. (9News)
There will only be a fireworks display for seven minutes at midnight. (9News)

New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the public health order will also be modified to allow up to 3,000 people to gather in outdoor spaces to allow city councils and local government areas to manage in a manner Safe New Years Eve events.

The outdoor church services will also increase the capacity from 300 to 500, subject to the safe COVID plan.

Up to 30 people will be allowed in a Christmas carol choir, but participants must wear a mask.

Funerals can also have 300 people starting December 1.

Meanwhile, NSW Health Director Dr. Kerry Chant said now is not the time to get complacent and urged travelers returning from South Africa to get tested.

NSW Health has asked people coming to NSW from South Australia to fill out a declaration form.

Non-residents who wish to transit through the state will be able to do so, provided they take the most direct route and can do so in a way that does not pose any risk to others.

However, anyone who has visited any hotspot location in SA will not be able to travel to NSW until the 14 day period has elapsed.

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