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Sydney's 'BBQ Man': Boss of investment giant is revealed as centre of Sydney Covid outbreak

A Sydneysider who was dubbed 'BBQ Man' after going on a shopping spree while unknowingly infected with Covid has been outed as a high-flying businessman.

Apollo Global Management managing director Tom Pizzey travelled across Sydney last weekend, visiting four separate BBQ stores over the space of a few hours. 

The Australian Financial Review identified the boss of the global investment manager firm as the first locally acquired case of the 'double mutant' Indian B.1.617 mutation of virus.  His wife tested positive to Covid a day later on Thursday.

The reason he visited a string of barbecue stores on May 1 before stopping off at a petrol station and butcher in Bondi was a mixture of business and personal.

Mr Pizzey was reportedly looking to buy a new barbeque as well as examine the Barbecue Galores chain - stopping off at their stores in Casula and Annandale. 

Apollo, which is a private equity firm, is reportedly looking to acquire the barbeque chain, which is in its early auction stages.

An Apollo spokesman said the company would not comment on the medical condition of individual employees.  

'However, we are currently assisting the NSW health authorities as they investigate a positive case. The employee has not travelled outside Australia this year,' the spokesman told Street Talk on Sunday night.   

Managing director of investment giant Apollo Global Management Tom Pizzey (right) is the 'BBQ Man' who unknowingly travelled Sydney while infected with Covid 

Mr Pizzey travelled across Sydney's eastern, northern and western suburbs last weekend, visiting four separate BBQ stores over the space of a few hours

Mr Pizzey went to Barbeques Galore not only to find himself a new cooker, but also to examine the retailer. Apollo, which is a private equity firm, is looking to acquire the barbeque chain 

Health officials are still scrambling to work out how the couple, who have not been overseas and do not work in quarantine hotels or border control, contracted the mutant Indian strain from a US traveller they've never met.

Tough new restrictions - including masks indoors and on public transport - were brought in for all of greater Sydney on Thursday and extended for a week on Sunday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the measures would stay in place to 'prevent a super-spreading event' as contact tracers scramble to identify the 'missing link' between the infected returning traveller in hotel quarantine and Mr Pizzey.   

'All safeguards/restrictions will be in place for an extra week, except for shoppers in retail who will no longer be required to wear a mask,' she said on Sunday.

Household gatherings remain capped at 20 people, mask usage remains mandatory on public transport and indoor venues such as theatres and aged care homes, and singing and dancing remains mostly banned.

Hospitality patrons are still not permitted to drink while standing.

Mr Pizzey had no idea he had coronavirus and authorities are scrambling to figure out the 'missing link' between him and a US traveller with the disease

Tough new restrictions - including masks indoors and on public transport - were  extended for a week on Sunday (Wynyard Station pictured)

A nurse collects Covid-19 test samples at the Bondi drive-through testing clinic on May 6, with a huge increase in testing numbers expected thanks to the two new cases

Health workers have been trawling through CCTV footage to try and work out how the mystery transmission occurred.

The window of transmission is likely between April 26, when the traveller arrived and quarantined at the Park Royal Hotel in Darling Harbour, and April 29, when they were moved to special health accommodation after testing positive on April 27. 

BBQ Man's quest

Joe's Barbeques & Heating, 142 Silverwater Road in Silverwater

Saturday May 1, 1pm –1.45pm

Tucker Barbecues, 138 Silverwater Road in Silverwater

Saturday May 1, 1pm – 1.45pm

Barbeques Galore, G1/212-220 Parramatta Road in Annandale

Saturday May 1, 2pm – 3pm

Barbeques Galore, The Crossroads, Unit 12B, Parkers Farm Place in Casula

Saturday May 1, 4pm – 5pm

BP Mascot, 1077 Botany Road in Mascot

Saturday May 1, 4.30pm – 5pm

The Meat Store, 262 Oxford Street in Bondi Junction

Sunday May 2, 3pm – 4pm 

The US traveller was staying in the Darling Harbour hotel, which is not one of the 14 suburbs listed in Mr Pizzey's extensive search for the perfect outdoor cooker on Saturday and Sunday. 

Suburbs he did visit include Sydney's CBD, Paddington, Bondi Junction, Rushcutters Bay, Silverwater, Annandale, Casula, Mascot, Moore Park, Rose Bay, Brookvale, Collaroy, Balgowlah and Double Bay. 

Dr Stephen Conaty praised residents for following health advice and getting tested for Covid-19.

'NSW Health thanks the community for their strong response to calls for testing and continue to urge everyone in NSW with even the mildest symptoms - such as cough, headache, fatigue, sore throat or runny nose - to come forward immediately for testing, then isolate until you receive a negative result,' he said.

'High testing rates are vital for detecting any unidentified chains of transmission in the community.'

NSW recorded zero new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday from more than 18,000 tests.

There were an additional six cases in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

One Covid-19 patient in NSW is currently in intensive care and on a ventilator.

Almost 780,000 vaccinations in total have been administered in NSW, which includes those overseen by the Commonwealth. 

Gladys Berejiklian said her government's reaction was 'proportionate' since they did not know how the couple caught the virus from a returned traveller

Sydneysiders were this week urged to wear masks and adhere to other restrictions without cancelling their Mother's Day plans.

Liquor and Gaming NSW on Saturday also urged businesses to do the right thing over the weekend, with compliance officers out in force on Sunday.

Businesses can be fined up to $5000 and forced to shut their doors for defying Covid, including the requirement all patrons check in.

An increase in case numbers would also impact the government's decision to ease or extend restrictions. 

Previous infections in Sydney have been the result of contact with transportation between the airport and quarantine facilities. 

An outbreak in south-west Sydney in December was revealed to have been started by a bus driver who carried infected passengers to and from the airport.

Restrictions to remain in place 

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Sunday restrictions would remain in place across Greater Sydney until 12.01am on May 17.

The only difference will be that shoppers will no longer have to wear face masks in retail centres.

Below is a list of restrictions that will continue throughout the week:

1) No more of 20 guests per household.

2) No dancing at nightclubs or other indoor hospitality venues.

3) Aged care facilities will only accept two visits per resident per day.  

4) No standing and drinking at indoor venues. 

5) Mask usage remains mandatory on public transport and indoor venues such as theatres and aged care homes.

6) No singing will be allowed by attendees at indoor shows or church-goers in places of worship. 

SYDNEY VENUES ON ALERT 

Anyone who attended one of the following venues at the times specified is asked to immediately get tested and isolate until NSW Health provides further information.

Fratelli Fresh, Westfield Sydney, Pitt Street

Tuesday April 27, 1.15pm - 2.15pm

XOPP, 1 Little Pier Street Haymarket

Wednesday April 28, 1.30pm - 2.30pm

Bondi Trattoria, 34 Campbell Parade Bondi Beach

Thursday April 29, 12.45pm - 1.30pm 

District Brasserie, 2 Chifley Square in Sydney

HineSight Optometrist, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth - P2/61-101 Philip Street in Sydney

Friday April 30, 12pm - 1pm

Barbetta, 2 Elizabeth Street in Paddington 

Event Cinemas Bondi Junction, screening of The Courier

Friday April 30, 6pm – 8pm

Figo Restaurant, 3/56-60A Bayswater Road in Rushcutters Bay 

Friday April 30, 8.45pm – 11pm

Joe's Barbeques & Heating, 142 Silverwater Road in Silverwater

Saturday May 1, 1pm –1.45pm

Tucker Barbecues, 138 Silverwater Road in Silverwater

Saturday May 1, 1pm – 1.45pm

Barbeques Galore, G1/212-220 Parramatta Road in Annandale

Saturday May 1, 2pm – 3pm

Barbeques Galore, The Crossroads, Unit 12B, Parkers Farm Place in Casula

Saturday May 1, 4pm – 5pm

BP Mascot, 1077 Botany Road in Mascot

Saturday May 1, 4.30pm – 5pm

The Meat Store, 262 Oxford Street in Bondi Junction

Sunday May 2, 3pm – 4pm 

The Stadium Club, Moore Park - Entertainment Quarter, 122 Lang Road

Monday May 3, 11.30am - 12.30pm 

Azure Cafe, Moore Park - Entertainment Quarter, Shop 5a 

Monday May 3, 12.30pm - 1pm

The Royal Sydney Golf Club, Kent Road, Rose Bay 

Monday May 3, 12.30pm - 1pm

Rug Cleaning Repairs Hand Rug Wash Sydney, 8/52-54 Sydenham Rd, Brookvale

Monday May 3, 12.30pm - 1pm 

Alfresco Emporium, 2021 Pittwater Rd, Collaroy 

Tuesday May 4, 1pm - 1.30pm

Smith Made, 14/28 Roseberry Street, Balgowlah

Tuesday May 4, 2.30pm - 4pm 

Chemist Warehouse, 459-463 New South Head Road, Double Bay

Tuesday May 4, 3.45pm - 4pm

Woolworths, Kiaora Lane and Kiaora Road, Double Bay

Tuesday May 4, 4.05pm - 4.15pm 

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