City of Sydney escalates control measures, closes gyms and aquatic centres
18 March 2020,
After a spate of new Covid-19 cases in Sydney over recent days, the city's council will be cancelling or postponing all non-essential events and in-person meetings, as well as closing gyms and aquatic centres.
In an announcement this afternoon, the City of Sydney added it would also be placing restricted hours on libraries and community centres.
"The safety of our communities, customers and staff is our top priority," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
"Over the past two months, the City has been working closely with NSW Health to ensure we respond urgently and effectively to the spread of COVID-19.
"It's crucial that we all follow the current health advice practising social distancing and when recommended, self-isolation. We have not come to the decision to cancel events or close facilities lightly, but we believe it's best for the community that we do so."
Moore highlighted the situation was changing daily and the council was constantly reviewing its operations and services.
The City of Sydney takes advice on all public health matters from the state and federal health departments.
As announced by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, all public, non-essential outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people, and non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned.
The City has cancelled or postponed all events of that size run by the City until further notice and will work with individual hirers of City venues in relation to their events as circumstances evolve.
The City has also introduced a number of precautionary measures to protect members of the community, volunteers and staff, including:
Committee and Council meetings will still be held in person at this stage, as this is required under the Local Government Act, but social distancing measures will be in place.
Members of the public are encouraged to watch these meetings via the City of Sydney's livestream rather than attending in person if at all possible.
Updated at 6:50pm AEDT on 18 March 2020.