Residents of Two More Sydney LGAs Are Now Only Allowed to Leave Their Areas for Essential Work
Stricter conditions are coming into effect for residents of the Cumberland and Blacktown Local Government Areas.
When the New South Wales Government last tightened Greater Sydney's lockdown measures back on Saturday, July 17, it introduced stricter conditions in three specific Local Government Areas where COVID-19 case numbers have been particularly high. Since then, residents of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs have no longer been able to leave their LGA for work — unless they work in emergency services, healthcare, or the aged care and disability care fields. That rule is now being expanded, with folks in the Cumberland and Blacktown LGAs coming under the same conditions.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the change today, Friday, July 23, advising that "unless people are critical workers from the Blacktown local government area and the Cumberland local government area, who we do not want any workers living in those LGAs to leave unless they are regarded as critical workers."
Accordingly, if that's you, you obviously still need to abide by all the other rules that are currently in place across Greater Sydney; however, your ability to leave your LGA for work is now limited as well.
For workers in the emergency services, healthcare, or the aged care and disability care fields, if you do need to leave your LGA for work, you'll have to get a mandatory COVID-19 test every three days — even you don't have any coronavirus symptoms.
The Premier hasn't announced how long this requirement will be in place in the Cumberland and Blacktown LGAs; however, in revealing today's new COVID-19 case numbers for the entire state — with 136 cases of local transmission reported up to 8pm last night, Thursday, July 22 — she advised that it's unlikely the Greater Sydney lockdown will end on Friday, July 30 as last outlined. "Unfortunately, 53 of those cases were infectious in the community," the Premier said. "There is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage. It is fairly apparent that we will not be close to that next Friday," she continued.
At the moment, in terms of general restrictions, people in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour can only leave their houses for four specific essential reasons anyway: to work and study if you can't do it from home; for essential shopping; for exercise outdoors in groups of two; and for compassionate reasons, which includes medical treatment, getting a COVID-19 test and getting vaccinated.
And, since last weekend, only businesses deemed "critical retail" are permitted to remain open. Hospitality and retail venues can only do takeaways, home deliveries, and click and collect orders, and residents in the locked-down areas also aren't allowed to carpool, unless you're in a vehicle with members of your own household.
Also, the rules around working from home changed earlier this week. At the moment, employers must allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so — or they can face a fine of up to $10,000.
You can still only exercise in groups of two outdoors — or as a household. You can also only get sweaty within your local government area, or within ten kilometres of where you live.
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.
No one can have anyone over to their house, either — other than for care purposes, which includes intimate partners.
As always, Sydneysiders are also 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.
For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.
Published on July 23, 2021 by Sarah Ward