Quarantine requirements for returning ACT residents from the Greater Sydney area will remain in place into the New Year as the coronavirus outbreak in Sydney continues to grow.

On Wednesday, New South Wales recorded 18 new cases of the virus.

Of those nine are linked to Sydney’s Avalon cluster, six have been linked to a new cluster in Croydon in the city’s inner west and three remain under investigation.

Two cases have now also been detected in the Wollongong area.

ACT health authorities are continuing to monitor the situation across the border, today making the decision to stick with the current public health orders.

Residents returning from the Greater Sydney area including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong are still required to self-declare and quarantine for 14-days upon arrival into the Territory.

Chief Minster Andrew Barr said the risk to the ACT is more elevated now than it has been for some time.

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“The continuance of new cases in New South Wales, particularly now spreading into the Greater Sydney and Wollongong region, serves as a timely reminder that we need to maintain our vigilance.”

Canberrans are also again being encouraged to reconsider the need to travel at all throughout the rest of New South Wales as the situation continues to change.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said the current measures will remain in place until at least 6 January, when health authorities will again meet to reassess the situation.

“Even though the number of new cases notified daily by NSW linked to the Northern Beaches outbreak have decreased over the Christmas period, we unfortunately have continued to see new exposure locations and community transmission occurring outside of the Northern Beaches LGA, which continues to pose a risk to the ACT community.”

“There are currently around 160 public locations that COVID-19 cases have visited while infectious in NSW, with more than half of these occurring outside the Northern Beaches, including in Wollongong. There are nearly 50 public transport routes identified as possible exposure locations in various parts of Sydney.

On Wednesday there were no known active cases of the virus within the ACT.

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