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As pubs reopen, one group has authorities worried

As NSW pubs, restaurants and bars begin reopening, authorities are warning young people they’re “smack bang in the danger zone” and to get tested for even the slightest symptoms.

With 40 per cent of COVID-19 infections in NSW among 20-40 year olds, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it was important younger people got the message they were ‘not invincible’

NSW recorded an additional three COVID-19 cases since 8pm last night after almost 9000 people came forward to be tested. All three new cases were people in hotel quarantine.

Mr Hazzard said the state continued “to do quite well” but it was essential as restriction ease that more people come forward to get tested.

“The impact of those young people, particularly as we are freeing up our restrictions, particularly around clubs and hotels … we need a very powerful message to the fact that these young people who may think they are invincible are actually not,” Mr Hazzard said.

“They can be asymptomatic, they can have no symptoms, or they can have very mild symptoms, and they can transfer those symptoms to people who are extremely vulnerable.

As NSW slowly winds back restrictions, restaurants and bars are reopening, with patron numbers set to increase from 10 to 50 on June 1.
media_cameraAs NSW slowly winds back restrictions, restaurants and bars are reopening, with patron numbers set to increase from 10 to 50 on June 1.

“And we know that anybody over the age of 50 who has other health issues, comorbidities, or anybody over the age of 70, I really in the danger zones.

“They are right smack bang in the danger zones.”

One in five people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in NSW have been in the 20-29 age bracket.

“If you look at the next age bracket, which is 30-39, by the time you put those together it is 38 per cent — so almost 40 per cent of all cases are in that younger age bracket.”

He said with new freedoms “come big responsibilities” and social distancing and hygiene were key to keeping the community safe.

“If you don’t, then you may well be the precise cause of why your grandparents or somebody else’s grandparents or somebody else that you know if you have comorbidities might be a victim of this terrible COVID-19 virus.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney, Friday, May 22, 2020. From June 1, pubs and restaurants across NSW will be permitted to host 50 patrons at once. Picture: AAP
media_cameraNSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney, Friday, May 22, 2020. From June 1, pubs and restaurants across NSW will be permitted to host 50 patrons at once. Picture: AAP

A total of 411,618 people have now been tested for COVID-19 in NSW as restrictions continue to ease.

On Friday, authorities announced that in NSW, up to 50 people will be able to dine in restaurants, pubs and cafes from June 1 — well above the limits in other states and territories.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the “big and critical” step would begin from June 1, but strict rules would be in place for venues.

Venues will still have to allow at least four square metres of space per person. Additionally, bookings of more than 10 will be banned, and patrons won’t be allowed to stand.

Currently, dining venues can only have a maximum of 10 patrons if they maintain social distancing. That includes alcohol table service with meals at NSW pubs and clubs.

– with AAP

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