New South Wales has recorded 18 new cases of Covid-19 overnight as Sydney waits anxiously to find out whether the city's hard lockdown will end on time on Saturday.
The state's health minister Brad Hazzard had earlier on Tuesday morning revealed the number of mystery cases and new cases not in isolation will determine whether Sydney can get out of lockdown as planned on Friday.
'There's a whole team of health officials... they're looking at the numbers, whether they're linked or unlinked, and also whether there's unknown chains of transmission,' Mr Hazzard told RN Breakfast.
He said case numbers will 'bounce around' but the state does not have a set target that needs to be reached to end lockdown.
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The numbers of mystery cases and new cases not in isolation will determine whether Sydney can get out of lockdown as planned on Friday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said. Pictured: Rushcutters Bay Park on Sunday
'Last year when the numbers were going through the roof, that was traumatising. We know that what we're doing needs to be done to hold the line but we're just not sure how to break that line,' he said.
The minister said he was 'hopeful' lockdown would end but some key restrictions would remain in place.
'We are on high alert but we are hopeful we could bring in some normalcy,' he said.
The restrictions most likely to remain include a cap on the number of visitors to households and mandatory mask-wearing at venues and on public transport.
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Elsewhere, NSW Health has issued fresh alerts for seven new venues, including a pharmacy at Belfield in Sydney's southwest and the Adventist Hospital at Wahroonga in Sydney's north.
The alerts come as it emerged a man working with vulnerable elderly residents at an aged care home is refusing to get vaccinated against Covid, despite a spike in cases in Sydney and a relentlessly-growing list of exposure sites spreading across the city.
Jabs are being made mandatory for everyone working in aged care and hotel quarantine settings, with the majority of Australia's coronavirus deaths being in nursing homes.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
A man working with vulnerable elderly residents at an aged care home is refusing to get vaccinated against Covid (pictured, healthcare workers transport a person into a patient transport vehicle at the Summitcare Aged Care facility in Baulham Hills, Sydney)
Anyone who has attended the following venues at the listed times is considered a close contacted and must immediately get tested and self isolate for 14 day regardless of the result.
Belfield: Bridge of Belfield Pharmacy - Monday June 28, 8.20am to 8.40am
Edmondson Park: Frango Charcoal Chicken - Friday July 2, 9am - 3pm
Marrickville: Little Hong Kong in Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre - Saturday June 26, Sunday June 27, Monday June 28, Tuesday June 29, Wednesday June 30 and Thursday July 1 between 9am and 2pm any day
Rydalmere: Aldi - Thursday July 1 from 8am to 3am and Friday July 2, from 2pm to 8:30pm
Bossley Park: Club Marconi - Friday June 25 from 2pm to 8:30pm and Saturday June 26, from 10am to 6pm
Anyone who has attended the following venues at the listed times is considered a casual contacted and must immediately get tested and self isolate until they receive a negative result.
Hurstville: Chemist Warehouse inside Westfield - Friday July 2, 1.30pm to 1.55pm
Bondi Beach: Hurricane's Grill - Wednesday June 23, 5.20pm to 7pm
Kingsgrove: Bunnings - Tuesday June 29, 3.40pm to 3.50pm
Auburn: Pindi Supermarket - Tuesday June 29 form 5:40pm to 5:50pm
Anyone who has attended the following venues at the listed times is considered should monitor for symptoms and must immediately get tested if they occur and self-isolate until they receive a negative result
Wahroonga: Sydney Adventist Hospital Ground Floor of Tulloch Building - Monday June 28, 2pm to 2.15pm
Bus 827: Liverpool to Elizabeth Hills - Tuesday June 29, departed 8:30am - arrived 9:05am. Passengers who travelled on this bus during the listed time are considered close contacts.
T5 Cumberland Line: Parramatta Station to Liverpool Station - Tuesday June 29, departed 7:23am - arrived 7:49am. Passengers who travelled on this train during the listed time are considered casual contacts.
Out of 35 new cases in New South Wales on Monday, two were residents at SummitCare aged care home in Baulkham Hills, taking the cluster to five.
But one aged care worker, known only as Drew, said he and many others in the industry are fiercely opposed to the move, and says he feels 'coerced' by the federal government's new policy.
Health chiefs have continuously explained that unless the vaccination rate picks up, particularly among those working with vulnerable Australians, continued lockdowns and border closures may be unavoidable.
As Sydney's latest lockdown rolls into it 12th