Two local NSW cases as Bondi cluster grows

Cars line up for testing at Bondi as health authorities scramble to quash a new COVID outbreak.
Cars line up for testing at Bondi as health authorities scramble to quash a new COVID outbreak.

NSW has recorded two new local virus cases, with more than 1000 people in isolation as the Bondi virus cluster grows.

COVID testing levels in the state were "nowhere near what we'd like to see", NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told reporters on Saturday.

More than 26,000 tests were conducted in NSW up till 8pm Friday.

"The weapon that we have to defeat this virus when it keeps coming back is making sure you get tested," Mr Hazzard said.

Another four cases have been detected in hotel quarantine.

Mask use is again compulsory on Sydney's public transport after a man picked up COVID-19 from "fleeting exposure" with an infected shopper.

The man in his 50s caught the virus while shopping at Myer Bondi Junction. He was on the same floor in the same section as a limousine driver believed to be at the centre of the outbreak.

The driver, aged in his 60s, transported international air crews.

The infections have prompted some states to tighten border restrictions for those who live in eastern Sydney or have attended the exposure sites.

Victoria recorded one locally acquired virus case on Saturday with the state continuing to emerge from its fourth lockdown.

The new case is a close contact of an existing case and has been in quarantine while infectious.

Another two new cases have been recorded in Melbourne's hotel quarantine, bringing the total active cases in the state to 51.

Travel restrictions were scrapped in Victoria from Friday except for people visiting the snowfields and masks are no longer required outdoors.

Meanwhile, Labor has repeated its claim the federal government relied too heavily on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for Australia's rollout.

Medical experts are now recommending people under 60 receive the Pfizer jab due to the risk of extremely rare blood clots for AstraZeneca recipients.

But the 840,000 people aged 50 to 59 who have already had a single AstraZeneca dose have been told to get their second jab of that vaccine.

Two deaths have occurred in Australia from 3.8 million AstraZeneca doses.

National cabinet will meet on Monday to discuss what the increased reliance on Pfizer imports means for the immunisation program.

Australian Associated Press