All of Greater Sydney Is Going Into Lockdown Until July 9 in a Bid to Contain the Current Outbreak
From 6pm, Saturday, June 26, all of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong will be under stay-at-home orders for the next fortnight.
June 26, 2021
On Friday, June 25, four Local Government Areas in Sydney went into lockdown in response to Sydney's latest cluster of locally acquired COVID-19 cases. From 6pm today, Saturday, June 26, all of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong will also be under stay-at-home orders — with the entire area, including the four LGAs already in lockdown, required to stay at home for the next fortnight.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the new stay-at-home orders in her second press conference today, noting that "if we're going to do this, we need to do it properly. There's no point doing a three-day lockdown and then having the virus continue to bubble away in the community." That means that the lockdown will be in effect until at least 11.59pm on Friday, July 9.
Accordingly, everyone in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong will be under the same conditions that've been in place in the City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Randwick LGAs for the past day — and were in effect when the state went into lockdown back in March 2020. So, you'll only be able to 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.
Retail stores can remain 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.
Regarding weddings, they can proceed tomorrow, Sunday, June 27. After that, they can't take place. Funerals will still be able to go ahead, though, with a maximum of 100 attendees and density caps of one person per four-square-metres indoors.
New restrictions will also come into effect at 6pm today, Saturday, June 26, in all other parts of NSW. If you're anywhere in the state beyond Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong, you will only be able to have five people over to your house (including children), and you'll need to wear a mask in all indoor non-residential settings and at outdoor events. Also in the regions, dancing is banned, vertical drinking is off the cards, dance and gym classes are limited to 20 people per class, and seated, ticketed events outside can only operate to 50-percent seated capacity. And, the one person per four-square-metre rule is back in all indoor and outdoor settings.
Unsurprisingly, if you've been in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong since Monday, June 21 and you're now elsewhere in the state, you'll still need to follow the stay-at-home orders. So, regardless of where you are right now in the state, if you've spent any time this week in an area that is either currently in or about to go into lockdown for the next fortnight, you will need to go into lockdown as well.
Announcing the expanded stay-at-home orders, Premier Berejiklian said that "there's two things going against us on this one — that is the fact that it is very difficult to geographically shut down various suburbs without people who are working and living having infected or transmitted the virus elsewhere; and, secondly, the best advice I've had from health experts today is that the transmissibility is at least double previous variants that we've seen." She continued: "so those factors have led to the health advice that we've been given and that's why we must act."
Regarding the duration of the lockdown, the Premier noted that "the best health advice today is that it should be for two weeks, but if there is any massive improvement ahead of that time, of course, we'll evaluate that." She explained that shortening the stay-at-home period was unlikely, however. "We could assess after seven days, but I want to be very upfront with the public: this will be for all intents and purposes a two-week lockdown."
Today's new restrictions come after 29 new cases were reported in the 24 hours until 8pm yesterday, Friday, June 25, making a total of 82 locally acquired cases since Wednesday, June 16.
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 be under stay-at-home orders from 6pm on Saturday, July 26 until 11.59pm on Friday, July 9. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.