The Greater Sydney Area Will Remain in Lockdown Until Midnight on July 16
Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong have been under stay-at-home orders since June 26.
For almost two weeks now, Greater Sydney residents have become reacquainted with every nook and cranny in their house — as have folks who live in the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong. And, that isn't set to change any time soon, with New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcing today, Wednesday, July 7, that the regions' lockdown will be extended until midnight on Friday, July 16.
This is the second time that the stay-at-home conditions have been extended during the current outbreak. On Friday, June 25, four Local Government Areas in Sydney went into lockdown, before the entire Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong region followed the next day. The requirement to remain at home was originally put in place until Friday, July 9; however, the Premier has now advised that the NSW Government has "made the difficult decision to announce the extension of the lockdown and the existing restrictions in the regions for one week further."
Announcing the news, Premier Berejiklian said that "this Delta strain is a game changer. It is extremely transmissible and more contagious than any other virus — form of the virus that we've seen."
She continued: "the reason why the NSW Government has taken this position is because we don't want to be in a situation where we are constantly having to move between lockdown, no lockdown, lockdown, no lockdown. What we want to do is give us our best chance of making sure this is the only lockdown we have until the vast majority of our citizens are vaccinated. We know the vaccine is the key to our freedom. The vaccine is key to saving lives and keeping the economy open. We appreciate and understand the stress this means for individuals, for families and, of course, for businesses — but what would be far worse is being in a situation where you have to live in and out of lockdown until that period of time when we have the vaccine available to us."
New South Wales reported 28 new COVID-19 cases, 27 of them acquired locally, in the 24 hours until 8pm yesterday, Tuesday, July 6. The Premier also noted that a number of cases have been identified overnight as well, and that tomorrow's case number is likely to be higher than today's.
So, everyone in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong remains under the same conditions that've been in effect for the past fortnight — and were in effect when the state went into lockdown back in March 2020. That means that you 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 in groups of ten or fewer; and for compassionate reasons, which includes medical treatment, getting a COVID-19 test and getting vaccinated.
Otherwise, everyone must stay at home. That said, there are no restrictions on when you can go shopping or go out for exercise, and there's no curfew. The Premier did single out the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool Local Government Areas, which is where the majority of new cases have been concentrated, and advised that folks in these three spots really should not leave the house — or, if case numbers rise, the government will consider taking further actions in these LGAs.
Throughout all of the areas remaining in lockdown, retail stores can stay open, but people are only permitted to go out for essential buying — not to browse or loiter. Hospitality businesses can open for takeaway and deliveries only.
Weddings are still off the cards, but funerals can go ahead — with a maximum of 100 attendees and density caps of one person per four-square-metres indoors.
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.
All of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong will remain under stay-at-home orders from 11.59pm on Friday, July 16. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.
Published on July 07, 2021 by Sarah Ward