NO KISSING: With COVID-19 restrictions in place for 2021, health authorities are advising social distancing and not kissing people you don't live with on NYE.
NO KISSING: With COVID-19 restrictions in place for 2021, health authorities are advising social distancing and not kissing people you don't live with on NYE.

No kissing strangers at midnight

Be vigilant, no kissing strangers at midnight, going to parties on the beach or dancing in the street when the clock strikes 12.

Seeing in 2021 will be, like most things this year, quite different than before thanks to the pandemic.

And yet it seems some people still don't understand the meaning of "social distancing" and are attending mass parties across the Northern Rivers, much to the frustration of police, residents and medicos.

Leading Lismore paediatrician Dr Chris Ingall said nothing much will change when we wake up on New Year's Day.

"Assume the person next to you has COVID-19 and behave accordingly," he said.

"Even through this is not what you want, you can talk all you like about gatherings being low risk, but in reality there are no such things, when you think about the virus transmission through our community which has not been fully worked out."

Richmond Police District Superintendent Scott Tanner said officers will be out and patrolling to ensure people in the region are behaving responsibly within the community.

"The fact is that the start 2021 will not be terribly different to the end of 2020," he said.

"We need to be sure that we do not have COVID-19 fatigue and that the community remembers to take precautions and continue to use social distancing and hygiene and respect each and stay home tonight."

Earlier today (December 31, 2020) Health Minister Brad, Hazzard warned New Year's Eve revellers to be "very cautious" as parts of the state continue to be affected by growing new clusters of COVID-19 cases.

How to have a COVID-19 safe celebration

- Keep 1.5m apart from people you don't live with.

- If you feel unwell do not host or attend any gatherings - stay home.

- Don't hug or kiss people you don't live with or mingle with other groups.

- Gather outdoors if possible or open doors and windows.

- Stay home if you can, limit your movements and guests.

- Wear a mask if you are out and about.

- Wash your hands regularly and make sure all visitors do this as well.

If you feel unwell

Get tested immediately at a local clinic.

You can also call the National coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 (24-hour help line).



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