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The Entire State of New South Wales Is Going Into Lockdown

All of New South Wales will be under stay-at-home conditions from 5pm on Saturday, August 14, with lockdown in regional NSW set to last until at least 12.01am on Sunday, August 22.
By Sarah Ward
August 14, 2021
By Sarah Ward
August 14, 2021

Already on Saturday, August 14, the New South Wales Government has reported 466 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, and announced the introduction of stricter new stay-at-home rules for Greater Sydney. That's not the end of the day's news, with the entire state now set to enter lockdown from 5pm today — for at least a week in regional NSW, with a current end date of 12.01am on Sunday, August 22 given for areas outside of Greater Sydney.

"To protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, new restrictions will be introduced for all of regional NSW," said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Health in a statement. "Following updated health advice from NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant, stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in regional NSW. This means the whole of New South Wales will be under stay at home restrictions from 5pm today."

The Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour regions have already been in lockdown since the end of June, and several regional areas in NSW are also under stay-at-home conditions presently — including in Byron Bay and Northern Rivers, Armidale, Newcastle, Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Singleton, Dungog, Muswellbrook, Cessnock, Dubbo, Tamworth, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Narromine, Walgett and Warren. Any regional areas that are currently in lockdown but were due to have stay-at-home rules lift during the next week will now remain locked down until Sunday, August 22, while Greater Sydney's lockdown will continue until at least Saturday, August 28 as outlined at the end of July.

Under the newly announced rules for regional NSW, everyone is required to remain at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave, just like in Greater Sydney. Work is a permitted reason to head out of your house, but only if it is not practicable to do your job from home.

Also, no visitors from outside your household are allowed to come to your home, including family and friends — other than for very select reasons. So, regional NSW residents can only have one person over at one time, and only to fulfil carers' responsibilities, for care or assistance, or compassionate reasons, the latter of which covers people who are in a relationship but don't live together.

Also coming into effect: the closure of all hospitality venues other than for takeaways, and the closure of retail premises except for a small list that sell essentials. Supermarkets and grocery stores, other shops that mainly sell food or drinks to consume at home, chemists and pharmacies, kiosks, and places that primarily sell office supplies, pet supplies, newspapers, magazines and stationery, alcohol, maternity and baby supplies, and medical or pharmaceutical supplies can remain open, as can places that sell hardware, building and landscaping supplies, and timber, garden and plant items. Vehicle hire places, mobile phone repairs shops, service stations, banks, post offices, laundromats and dry cleaners can also stay open.

Anyone who leaves their home must carry a mask with them at all times, too — and they must be worn in most situations. So, that means masking up in all indoor venues outside of your own home, while working outdoors, in outdoor markets and at outdoor shopping strips, and while lining up outside to pick up products like coffee and food.

As has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic, NSW residents 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.

Regional areas of New South Wales will go into lockdown from 5pm today, Saturday, August 14 until at least 12.01am on Sunday, August 22. Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour remain in lockdown until at least 12.01am on Saturday, August 28, with new lockdown rules coming into effect in these specific areas from 12.01am on Monday, August 16. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.

Published on August 14, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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