NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has promised eased COVID-19 restrictions in a week’s time, if all goes well, after the community heeded her call to drive up testing numbers.

Almost 20,000 people were tested for coronavirus in NSW in the latest reporting period, nearly double the figure for the day before.

The state recorded zero locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, the third day in a row without local transmission.

Testing numbers were up after the government’s plea for more people to come forward. Some 19,959 people were tested in the reporting period, almost double the 10,621 tested the previous day.

Only three cases were identified, all people in hotel quarantine who had acquired the virus overseas.

The state’s recent run of low or no cases, combined with the boost in testing, was enough for the premier on Wednesday to promise relief on restrictions if both trends continued.


“Please know that if things continue the way they are, by this time next week there will certainly be decisions made around getting us as close as possible to pre-Avalon conditions,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Wednesday.

Masks are likely to remain compulsory on public transport, however, to give people the confidence they need to return to work safely, she said.

December’s Avalon outbreak caused the government to clamp down on numbers for both indoor and outdoor gatherings in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong.

Restrictions for weddings, funerals and religious services were also bolstered.


Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong residents have also had to wear masks indoors when out of the home for the past few weeks.

Ms Berejiklian singled out weddings on Wednesday, saying she was aware of the angst that restrictions have caused.

“This is the last weekend you’ll have to go through before there’ll be some relief,” she promised aspiring brides and grooms.


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