New South Wales health bosses are in a race against time to decipher how two of the most recent cases in the Sydney outbreak relate to the northern beaches.
Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said yesterday there was a "missing link" surrounding two cases.
Both have been genomically linked to the northern beaches but neither have a direct connection to the virus hotspot.
It's the latest mystery with the Avalon cluster, with the so-called 'patient zero' still unknown nor how the virus reached the Sydney peninsula.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday announced NSW has recorded eight new cases linked to the northern beaches, as well as a further eight in hotel quarantine.
The northern beaches has now been divided into two zones for Covid purposes with restrictions around Christmas depending whether you are in the north or south zone of the beaches, or if you're in the rest of Greater Sydney or further afield.
"If you're a resident of the northern part of the northern beaches, if you live north of the Narrabeen Bridge and east of the Bahai Temple at Mona Vale roads, you cannot leave your area. You are still in lockdown," Ms Berejiklian said of the area around Avalon which continues to have strict measures in place.
"You can't accept anybody outside your community and I apologise for that but we have to maintain a lockdown in that area."
'Recipe for confusion': Christmas Covid plan slammed
Berejiklian announced an array of alterations to Covid restrictions in and around Sydney yesterday over the Christmas period – and it's fair to say some people are a little perplexed by them.
"What a joke," said one person on Twitter at the new guidance which now differs depending on which of four zones you live in.
In some cases it's essentially Christmas as normal, but if you're in the northernmost beaches of the northern beaches you can only have five people around for Christmas dinner and they must all be from the neighbourhood.
"A recipe for confusion," said a social media user.
Comedian Dan Ilic likened the rules to a mobile phone plan. "10 people max per home + Unlimited Children under 12".
Labor Senator, and one time NSW Premier herself, Kristina Keneally berated the current premier for not providing enough detail as to exactly where the most hard hit zone would be.
"Can you please provide an accurate map of the Northern Beaches divide ASAP?" Ms Keneally said, who pointed out three different news outlets had three different boundaries.
It was only later that NSW Health provided a map of the northern part of the beaches.
Others were perplexed there was any relaxation in restrictions at all.
"The NSW government wants to ease restrictions for Greater Sydney for 3 days, and then revert back to current restrictions. I didn't know Covid was taking a break over Christmas", was one reaction.
"Investigations continue into the source of the Avalon cluster" said another.
"Hey, why not ease restrictions for three days".