The Overnight Curfew Will No Longer Apply in Sydney's LGAs of Concern From Tonight
No other rules are easing for now, but residents in Sydney's hotspot LGAs can now leave the house at any hour — as long as they abide by all of the other restrictions.
Since mid-August, residents of Sydney's Local Government Areas of concern haven't just been under stricter lockdown restrictions than folks across the rest of the city — they've also been under a nighttime curfew that's limited movement even further between the hours of 9pm–5am. But from tonight, Wednesday, September 15, that'll no longer be the case, with New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcing that the curfew will be ditched.
"Pleasingly, after receiving advice from both police and [NSW] Health, given we've hit the 80-percent milestone across the state, we're able to lift the curfew in those areas of concern from tonight," said the Premier, who made her second appearance at NSW's daily COVID-19 press conferences this week (after announcing last week that she'd only be fronting up when there was significant news).
"This is a whole-of-government decision based on a number of factors, but I want to send this strong message: we can't move on anything else just now. We need everybody to hold the line. Please make sure that if you live in those Local Government Areas of concern that you stick to every other rule that's in place," the Premier continued.
Accordingly, people who live in the Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta and Strathfield LGAs, as well as 12 suburbs in the Penrith, can now leave their homes at any time — as long as they're abiding by the other lockdown rules. That includes the two-hour rule around outdoor recreation, the strict five-kilometre rule when it comes to venturing away from your home, and all of the other stay-at-home conditions around what is and isn't permitted under lockdown.
NSW recorded 1,259 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.
Two new cases were acquired overseas, and 36 previously reported cases have been excluded following further investigation. pic.twitter.com/BADIDtqn2Z
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) September 15, 2021
The news came as Berejiklian announced 1259 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the last 24-hour reporting period, and also revealed that aforementioned 80-percent milestone — with 80 percent of eligible NSW residents having received a single dose of a coronavirus vaccine. That mark is notable as it means the government can reasonably expect the state to get to the 80-percent double jabbed threshold, because if someone has had one dose of the vax then they're likely to get the second dose. At the 70-percent fully vaxxed mark, NSW's roadmap to easing restrictions will kick in, with more rules then relaxing again when 80 percent of eligible people in NSW have been fully jabbed.
Asked why other restrictions aren't yet loosening in hotspot LGAs as yet, the Premier said that "the best advice we have is that it's too early and too risky to do anything further today. But as a token of our appreciation for reaching the 80-percent milestone, given feedback from police, who suggest that compliance is improving in many areas where perhaps previously it was not, plus the health advice about mental health challenges and the risks of not providing people a little bit of relief, all of that was balanced up and has been balanced up over some time. We review those restrictions, we review what we're imposing on the community matched against the data every single day and it's just not feasible at this time ahead of any further health advice to move on anything else."
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.
The curfew in Sydney's 12 LGAs of concern will lift from tonight, Wednesday, September 15. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.
Top image: Stilgherrian via Flickr.
Published on September 15, 2021 by Sarah Ward