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Four LGAs in the Byron Bay Area Have Joined New South Wales' Expanding Lockdown

The Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire Local Government Areas are now under the same stay-at-home conditions as Greater Sydney.
By Sarah Ward
August 10, 2021
By Sarah Ward
August 10, 2021

When the end of August hits, Greater Sydney will have been in lockdown for a very lengthy nine weeks. The region's stay-at-home stint hasn't just expanding in duration, however. Lockdowns have also been spreading across New South Wales as new positive COVID-19 cases pop up, including in Tamworth, Armidale, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Singleton, Dungog, Muswellbrook and Cessnock. And, since 6pm on Monday, August 9, four Local Government Areas on the NSW north coast have been put under stay-at-home conditions as well.

Until at least Tuesday, August 17, the Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire LGAs are now under the same lockdown rules that Sydneysiders have been experiencing since the end of June. The stay-at-home order was announced "following updated health advice from NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant," NSW Health announced in a statement — and the new restrictions apply to everyone who lives in these areas, or has been there, on or after Saturday, July 31.

The change comes after a man tested positive to COVID-19 in the area, after arriving in Byron from Sydney. As a result, it means that residents can only leave the house for four specific essential reasons: to work and study if you can't do it from home; for essential shopping; for exercise outdoors; and for compassionate reasons, which includes medical treatment, getting a COVID-19 test and getting vaccinated.

Also, only businesses deemed "critical retail" are permitted to remain open. Stores that can continue to welcome in customers include supermarkets, grocery stores, butchers, bakeries, fruit and vegetable stores, liquor stores and fishmongers; pharmacies and chemists; and shops that primarily sell health, medical, maternity and infant supplies. Also allowed to stay open: pet supply shops, post offices, newsagencies, office supply stores, petrol stations, car hire places, banks, hardware shops, nurseries, and places that sell building, agricultural and rural goods.

Any retail premises that don't fall into the above categories are closed to physical customers, but they can do takeaways, home deliveries, and click and collect orders. If you need supplies, only one person from each household can go out shopping each day to buy essential items — and browsing is prohibited, too.

Carpooling is still off the cards, unless you're in a vehicle with members of your own household. And, you can still only exercise in groups of two outdoors — or as a household.

And, although folks in Greater Sydney are under lockdown anyway — and, in Queensland, people in 11 LGAs in and around Brisbane have just come out of their own lockdown and are asked not to travel outside of these regions under current restrictions — no one should be venturing north or south to head to Byron while it is under stay-at-home conditions. In fact, as part of the order, people can't enter the Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire LGAs without a reasonable excuse to do so.

As always, NSW residents are asked to continue to frequently check NSW Health's long list of locations and venues that positive coronavirus cases have visited. If you've been to anywhere listed on the specific dates and times, you'll need to get tested immediately and follow NSW Health's self-isolation instructions.

In terms of symptoms, you should be looking out for coughs, fever, sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, or loss of smell or taste — and getting tested at a clinic if you have any.

The Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire Local Government Areas will remain in lockdown until at least Tuesday, August 17. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.

Published on August 10, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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