New South Wales has recorded an additional nine cases of coronavirus, six of which have been linked to the Avalon (Northern Beaches) cluster and all linked to the same household.
One additional case was locally acquired in Bondi with no link to the Avalon cluster, baffling health authorities. It's believed the case could be a false positive or an old case and remains under investigation.
In light of the new cases, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she would not be easing restrictions as the state puts in the "hard yards" to restore normality as soon as possible.
"There are still concerns about the CBD and still concerns about people in the Northern Beaches who may unintentionally have spread the virus without knowing they have it," she told media.
Northern Beaches residents will stay under strict stay-at-home provisions.
Berejiklian said these restrictions will remain for the "next three days, or so".
Northern Beaches MPs Jason Falinski and Zali Steggall have voiced support for the state government's strategy and their decision to not legally enforce mask wearing.
Speaking on ABC 24, Falinski said the state was treating people like adults.
"What seems to have worked in New South Wales as opposed to other jurisdictions around the world, is if you treat your people like adults and not inmates is you get far better buy-in for the measures you are taking," he said.
"If this wasn't working, I'm sure the New South Wales government could be moving from a setting of suggestion to one of mandatory."
Also appearing on the programme, Steggall agreed.
"I do feel we are striking the right balance between enabling people to do the right thing without becoming a complete police state. I think we do need to entrust people to do the right thing," she said.
In comparison, Victorians are still required to wear masks. State mandated directives state people must carry a mask at all times when they're out of the home, unless they have a reason not to.
NYE celebrations hang in the balance
Sydney residents will have to wait for the coming days for the official restrictions around New Year's Eve celebrations.
Although Berejiklian thanked the community and said NSW was making "good inroads", New Year's Eve and the first few weeks of January are still unclear.
"There are some basic things I can communicate very strongly today. That is, everybody should assume they're watching the fireworks from home this year," she said.
Hospitality venues will also most likely adhere to the "four square metre rule" as opposed to the "two square metre rule".
"We don't want to spend a single day or a single hour imposing anything we do not have to, and that is why we're doing things the way we are," she said.
"We appreciate people have had a really tough year."