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One new COVID-19 case as restrictions lifted

There was one new case of COVID-19 confirmed in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm last night — arising form 10,179 coronavirus tests, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

NSW Health’s Jeremy McAnulty said the person had acquired the virus overseas and had been in a quarantine hotel.

Mr Hazzard said the easing of restrictions this weekend has resulted in “the great NSW bust-out” — but urged residents to maintain social distancing.

“They’re rewarding themselves have many weeks of sacrifice and having themselves locked inside. And we all deserve it. We’ve all worked very hard at it,” he said.

“So I don’t want to dissuade people from enjoying what is a fantastic state.

“But I also do want to remind people that this virus is extremely dangerous, and we are all – every one of us – sitting ducks for this virus.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard gives an update on COVID-19 in NSW. Picture: AAP/Joel Carrett
media_cameraHealth Minister Brad Hazzard gives an update on COVID-19 in NSW. Picture: AAP/Joel Carrett

NSW residents over the weekend ventured back to their local eateries, pubs and bars, with dining venues able to take up to 10 patrons after an easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Restrictions on religious gatherings, ceremonies and household visits have also been eased.

The one case follows the three cases recorded in the preceding 24 hours.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar said there were no penalty infringement notices issued overnight and no charges laid in relation to COVID-19 violations.

He said police would remain vigilant in patrols as there has already been a marked increased in the number of people in public spaces.

COAG CLUMSY, RED TAPE NEEDS CUTTING

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the state’s success in halting the COVID-19 outbreak may help lure private investment capital otherwise headed to the virus- hit US and UK.

She also declared the Australian federation was “ripe for economic reform” even before the onset of the pandemic, and labelled the Council of Australian Governments intergovernmental forum as clumsy, overly bureaucratic and mired in red tape.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian gave an update of COVID-19 cases in NSW. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty
media_cameraPremier Gladys Berejiklian gave an update of COVID-19 cases in NSW. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty

Ms Berejiklian on Sunday said the state’s success in blunting the impact of COVID-19 – with just over 3000 cases and fewer than 50 deaths to date – would be looked upon favourably by capital markets, particularly given the struggles of fellow Anglophones UK and US.

This could help redirect investment flows from those financial centres to NSW.

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More than 88,000 people have died due to COVID-19 amid almost 1.5 million cases in the US, while almost 35,000 people in the UK have died from 240,000 cases.

“As much as we love the US and UK, we were often third in people’s consideration about where they go to university or where they invest or what they do,” Ms Berejiklian told Sky News.

“Perhaps this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate we’re a COVID-safe environment where people can invest, can travel to, can even study.

“We have the capacity to attract the best brains in the world, we also have the capacity to lead the world in some areas like advanced manufacturing.”

In a sign of the government’s plans to come, Ms Berejiklian also said future NSW economic policy would involve “far less regulation” and “flexibility to innovate” for the private sector.

NSW Treasury chief economist Stephen Walters on Friday said the state’s economy was headed for a recession for the first time in nearly 30 years, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing 221,000 NSW residents lost their job in April.

Ms Berejiklian on Sunday also suggested GST reform should be “put on the table” – and that the current National Cabinet forum of premiers and Prime Minister Scott Morrison had proven far more effective in solving problems than the use of COAG.

“Our federation is ripe for economic reform – our federation hasn’t changed in decades, assumes all the states have the same population, economic diversity, which we don’t. This process has really highlighted that,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The National Cabinet has demonstrated what can be achieved.

“To be frank, COAG can sometimes be very clumsy, can be very bureaucratic and full of red tape and I think the National Cabinet has really empowered us as leaders to take things forward in a considered but timely way, without being bogged down.”

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty on Saturday warned the virus was still “bubbling underneath the surface” and urged people to get tested if they had any symptoms at all.

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