National News

Mystery cases as Sydney approaches NYE

NSW is not out of the woods in its suppression of a COVID-19 outbreak, Premier Gladys Berejiklian warns, with three new cases diagnosed without immediate links to the northern beaches cluster.

Ms Berejiklian on Tuesday urged residents to be on high alert and seek testing with even mild symptoms as they approach New Year's Eve.

One of three cases diagnosed after 8pm on Monday lives in Wollongong on the state's south coast, though they had recently visited Sydney. The others live in Sydney's inner west and north.

Close-contact health alerts were subsequently issued on Tuesday for two Greek Orthodox churches in Wollongong on December 27 - St Nektarios Church and The Holy Cross Church.

Casual-contact alerts also apply for venues at Figtree, including Figtree Grove Shopping Centre, Mona Vale and Wollongong.

NSW also recorded three cases linked to the Avalon cluster in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, bringing its total to 129.

"We don't want people to think we're out of the woods, far from it," Ms Berejiklian told reporters.

NSW authorities also say they are frustrated at repeated breaches of gathering restrictions over the Christmas holiday period.

Twelve people have been fined over a Pyrmont wedding on Sunday after police discovered a number of guests were from the northern beaches. The bride and groom were among those fined.

"All of us are shaking our heads, absolutely aghast that has occurred," Ms Berejiklian said.

"If you do the wrong thing, you will get caught, especially when it is so brazen."

People from the northern beaches are not currently permitted to leave the area.

Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said more fines would be issued over the cross-city reception.

Police Minister David Elliott described the breach as a "bastard act".

Police also promised to be out in force on New Year's Eve to ensure greater Sydney sticks to the outdoor gathering limit of 50.

Sydneysiders have been mostly banned from watching the famous New Year's Eve fireworks from the harbour with the foreshore fenced off for the first time.

The state government is telling people to stay at home and watch the shortened seven-minute midnight firework show on TV.

The federal government has also warned it could punish backpackers or expatriates who breach public health orders with deportation.

The northern beaches will kick off 2021 at home after authorities extended stay-at-home orders. However small indoor gatherings on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day will be allowed.

Northern beaches mayor Michael Regan thanked locals for their patience and acknowledged lockdowns were hurting small businesses.

It's "not an easy thing at any time let alone this time of year but your efforts are making a difference," he said.

"If we all continue to do our bit hopefully the restrictions can ease soon and we can get back on the road to recovery."

Authorities say stay-at-home orders applying north of Narrabeen Bridge will continue until at least January 9. A lockdown for the peninsula's southern zone will remain until January 2.

© AAP 2020