National

No new NSW virus cases, easing imminent

By AAP Newswire

With no new cases and no patients on ventilators, NSW has reached two major COVID-19 milestones in the run-up to a significant easing of restrictions.

Zero coronavirus cases were recorded from the 9500 tests examined in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday - a mark not reached for a fortnight.

NSW Health said in a statement on Saturday the only patient left in intensive care no longer needs ventilation while just 70 others are being treated by health authorities.

Some 359 of the 3092 cases in the state remain active.

But despite NSW uncovering only 11 cases in the past 11 days, authorities warn it remains essential all stay 1.5 metres from each other and regularly wash hands.

"The virus is likely circulating among people in the community with mild symptoms," NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty said on Saturday.

"The risk of outbreaks and a resurgence of cases remains real."

From Monday, pubs and restaurants can have up to 50 customers while intrastate holiday travel will be permitted.

Museums, galleries, libraries and beauty salons will reopen while up to 20 people will be allowed to attend weddings.

Funerals and places of worship can have up to 50 people.

"It is crucial that worshippers remember to follow health advice. This is particularly important for people with co-morbidities aged over 50 and people aged over 70," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement.

The government had been wary about adjusting the restrictions on places of worship after observing outbreaks in churches and choirs overseas.

But state religious leaders pushed for the relaxation on service attendance after the government last week announced up to 50 people would be permitted to dine in restaurants, pubs and cafes from June 1.

Anthony Fisher, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, on Friday said in a statement his church would abide by government health regulations.

The archbishop of the Anglican Archdiocese of Sydney also said Anglican churches were well prepared to return to services of 50 people.

Hand sanitisers will be available at each entrance, churches will be thoroughly cleaned and designated ushers will record attendees' contact details.

"We realise that this is not the normality we enjoyed in 2019. We are grateful for the relief, joy and comfort that many parishioners will feel in meeting again in public Christian worship," Archbishop Glenn Davies said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ruby Princess passengers have been warned that a crew member being treated in a Sydney hospital was recently diagnosed with tuberculosis.

NSW Health said passengers are very low risk with the focus on screening close contacts of the man, including other crew members and hospital staff.