Greater Sydney's Lockdown Is Being Extended for Another Four Weeks
And you can now only go shopping within ten kilometres of your house, or in your Local Government Area.
For the past five weeks, folks in Greater Sydney region have spent plenty of time looking at their own four walls, given that the area has been in lockdown in an attempt to stop the latest COVID-19 outbreak. You might be sick of the sight of your furniture, and you've probably had your fill of TV press conferences and social media doomscrolling, too; however, if you're currently in lockdown, you'll now need to remain at home until at least 12.01am on Saturday, August 28.
When the stay-at-home conditions were first put in place back at the end of June, they were meant to last for two weeks — but they've been extended multiple times since. Now, today, Wednesday, July 28, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has advised that the lockdown will continue for another four weeks. So, if you live in the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour Local Government Areas, your life won't be returning to normality for the next month.
The last time an end date was mentioned, it was this coming Friday, July 30. Due to recent case numbers, Premier Berejiklian announced that ending lockdown this week isn't an option. In fact, the month-long expansion comes as New South Wales reported 177 new locally acquired cases recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday, Tuesday, July 27. Of those cases, at least 46 were infectious in the community.
While the bulk of the current conditions will remain in place for the next four weeks, there are some changes. From 12.01 on Saturday, July 31, singles bubbles are being brought in, so that folks who live alone will be able to have another person over to their homes. You'll have to nominate one person, and only that person can visit your house during the four weeks — and only once a day. Other than single bubbles, no one can have anyone over to their home other than for care purposes, which includes intimate partners.
Also changing, this time from midnight tonight, Wednesday, July 28: the rules around shopping. The restrictions there will mirror the setup for exercise, which means that you can now only go shopping within ten kilometres of your house, or within your LGA.
And also from midnight tonight, if you live in the Parramatta, Georges River and Campbelltown LGAs, you'll join people in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Blacktown and Cumberland LGAs in not being able to leave your Local Government Area for work — unless you work in emergency services, healthcare, or the aged care and disability care fields. If the latter categories apply to you and 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.
Otherwise, for another month, the rest of the existing lockdown conditions will remain in effect throughout Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour. As has been the case since late June, everyone can still 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. Masks are required whenever you leave the house, too, and 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.
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.
Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour will remain in lockdown until at least 12.01am on Saturday, August 28. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.
Published on July 28, 2021 by Sarah Ward