]Masking wearing indoors will become mandatory in NSW from midnight tonight as the state government reintroduces restrictions to curb the Omicron wave.
Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced density limits of one person per 2 square metres for hospitality venues would also be reinstated from December 27, while QR code measures will be “back in a limited way”.
The mask and density rules will be in place until January 27.
The wearing of masks indoors and the use of QR code check-ins were largely scrapped on December 15 but the state has seen a big increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
Mr Perrottet said QR codes would be reintroduced in hospitality and retail settings.
He said the changes were “modest” and would relieve the strain on a health system decimated by the loss of 1,500 staff members who were unwell or isolating.
Catch up on the main COVID-19 news from December 23 with a look back at our blog
“We think the changes made today … to be fair and balanced, they are proportionate in making sure we can keep people safe, the biggest concern that has come through over the last 24 to 48 hours has been the impact on health staff,” he said.
Mr Perrottet also said the government was looking to roll out a program to distribute free rapid antigen tests as part of a plan to move away from PCR tests.
He said the health and finance ministers had been tasked to devise a model similar to the one used in the UK, which he hoped would begin in early 2022.