The Informer: Mask mandate from midnight after Berejiklian backflip

Mask mandate from midnight

Mask up, NSW.

That's the new advice after a state government backflip has seen face masks mandated in shopping centres, public transport, places of worship, hair and beauty salons and entertainment venues.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state wanted to increase economic activity rather than reduce it - and mask-wearing will give the state the confidence to do so.

"What we want to do is make sure we're not in a situation where we are restricting people's ability to go about their business," Ms Berejiklian said on Saturday.

NSW announced seven new cases of COVID-19 found in the community, with five identified in western and south-western Sydney. One was a household contact of a previously reported case, and another case in south-western Sydney is under investigation.

Victoria has recorded 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the community, as thousands of Victorians cut their NSW holidays short to dash back to their state's border before it closed.

The state, which effectively eradicated the virus after a length lockdown in response to a deadly second wave, now has 29 active cases in isolation.

Border troubles have continued into the weekend, though, with queues now forming on the road into Canberra.

The ACT announced shortly after midnight on Saturday it would close its border to non-residents who have been in COVID-affected areas of NSW. Residents who have been in those areas are still allowed to return but must quarantine for 14 days.

Ms Berejiklian is not happy with all these border closures, however. Border closures are a bad use of resources, she said of Victoria's decision to shut itself off from NSW.

"While I don't criticise other state governments for their decisions, at times I feel they are jumping too soon," she said at her Saturday morning press conference.

"No matter how tight your borders are you are going to have exemptions with travellers being through different parts of the country."

Ms Berejiklian said she thought it was better to ask the community to come forward for testing.

But here's something to be positive about: Mexico City, one of the world's largest cities, has banned single-use plastic containers and cutlery.

The city's environmental secretary urged people to think of always carrying reusable containers like never leaving home without their mobile phones.

A future checklist to memorise: wallet, keys, phone, lunch box. Got it.

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