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Sydney Harbour boat cruise COVID-19 cases ‘likely’ to be Omicron variant

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Authorities are now urgently trying to contact about 140 people who signed in with a QR code before boarding the boat on Friday, which left King Street Wharf 9 at 7.30pm and returned about 11pm.

Anyone who was on board, and everyone in their households, is being urged to immediately get tested and isolate.

The cruise was jointly marketed as ‘Flow Fridays – 90s Themed Boat Party’ and ‘Freaky Sunday Afrovibe: The Last Dance’.

Thirty-one cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been registered in NSW.

A growing cluster linked to a climbing gym in Sydney’s southwest and two schools has increased to 20, with more cases expected.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the original source was believed to be a traveller who had been in Nigeria and arrived in Sydney from Doha on flight QR908 on 23 November.

“It’s expected that the numbers linked to this cluster will rise as further results are confirmed over the coming days,” she said on Tuesday.

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NSW Health is consulting widely in an effort to determine how contagious the new variant is and how it is transmitted compared with other variants.

“We are working with our international counterparts to rapidly gain a better understanding about the nature of this new variant,” Dr Chant said.

“We are also working to understand the severity of the new variant and importantly how effective vaccines are at offering protections against severe disease.”

The state recorded 260 new COVID-19 cases from 58,706 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday.

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