State records zero locally acquired COVID cases for fifth day in row

People are being urged to safely enjoy the long weekend, especially on the state's roads and in the water. Picture: Anna Warr
People are being urged to safely enjoy the long weekend, especially on the state's roads and in the water. Picture: Anna Warr

There have been no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 for the fifth day in a row as people are urged to be safe on the roads and to keep socially distant across the long weekend.

Four new cases of COVID-19 in returned travellers were diagnosed in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday night, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 4035.

There were 13,575 tests reported in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 6381 in the previous 24 hours.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said on Wednesday morning that the weather was forecast to be nice across the long weekend, prompting many people to enjoy outdoors activities.

"From tomorrow night, as usual, there will be double demerit points in place and they will go to midnight Monday," he said.

"One or two mistakes could cost you your licence.

"That is not something police relish in but if it means we reduce the road death toll then that will be a good decision."

Minister Elliott said the road deaths were down compared to this time last year by about 30, which was due to fewer people driving along roads and highways due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"That has been the silver lining to COVID," he said. "Any number of road fatalities is bad and this time last year the October long weekend saw six fatalities and we don't want to see that again."

Minister Elliot said the weekend would be a perfect opportunity for people to be on the water and reminded boaters of the restrictions in place for the number of people allowed on their watercraft.

"This will be a new experience for many motorists given they have been cooped up for so long," he said. "We want to make sure that at the end of the day that everyone has a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend because we all know that NSW needs it."

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said officers would be out in force across the weekend for Operation Slow Down from October 2.

"We know there will be heavy traffic on roads with people heading to holidays and everyone is looking forward to that but we also know the roads can be extremely dangerous, he said.

"We know speed, drink-driving, drugs, use of mobile phone and fatigue all cost lives.

"During COVID, police have been measured in terms of issuing tickets but our state's Traffic and Highway Command will be out in force and will be showing zero tolerance to people breaking the law."

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This story State records zero locally acquired COVID cases for fifth day in row first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.