A Nighttime Curfew and One-Hour Exercise Rule Will Now Apply in Sydney's 12 LGAs of Concern
From Monday, August 23, residents of the city's hotspot areas will be under even tighter restrictions — and they'll apply throughout Sydney's third month of lockdown.
As Greater Sydney's lockdown has continued, and locally acquired COVID-19 cases have concentrated in certain areas, the New South Wales Government has reacted by implementing stricter rules in places it has dubbed Local Government Areas of concern. Already, folks living in these spots are only required to travel five kilometres from their homes unless there are exceptional circumstances, and they must wear masks whenever they leave the house — and they'll be under addition restrictions, too, from 12.01am on Monday, August 23.
Today, Friday, August 20, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed that Greater Sydney's now two-month-long lockdown will not be ending on Saturday, August 28 as previously announced the last time stay-at-home orders were extended. Instead, lockdown will now continue until the end of September, and it'll bring with it a nighttime curfew and a strict exercise limit for hotspot LGAs.
Coming into effect on Monday: a 9pm–5am curfew for 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. So, residents won't be able to leave their homes during those times except for authorised work or for emergencies.
"Police will be stopping everybody who's leaving their home from 9pm to 5am, and again this is based on police feedback received in the last few days about the type of activity that's unfortunately being carried out by a small number of people — but as we said Delta doesn't leave any room for error," advised the Premier. "And I apologise deeply to the vast majority of people in those communities for so doing the right thing, but for our own health and safety moving forward we need to make these difficult decisions," she continued.
In hotspot LGAs, exercising will also be limited to one hour per day. "Unfortunately too many people are using that for the wrong reasons," said the Premier.
Plus, more businesses in these areas will also need to move to click-and-collect shopping — including garden centres, plant nurseries, office supplies, hardware and building supplies, rural supplies and pet supplies.
Also, the NSW police have been given extra powers to direct anyone who isn't from a LGA of concern that's found inside one of the hotspot areas to self-quarantine for 14 days.
And, there's a few new rules around workplaces and authorised workers, too. Childcare workers and disability support workers who live or work in an LGA of concern are required to have had their first vaccination dose by Monday, August 30 — and authorised workers who work outside their hotspot LGA can only go to work if their worksite has rapid antigen testing or they've had their first jab by the same date. Also, from Saturday, August 28, authorised workers from LGAs of concern will need to carry a Service NSW permit saying they're an authorised worker and can't work from home. The same will apply if you're an authorised worker heading into those hotspot LGAs — so you'll need to have a permit as well.
In response to the evolving Delta outbreak, NSW will extend the current lockdown in Greater Sydney until the end of September, and introduce new rules targeting the local government areas of concern, where the vast majority of new cases are emerging. pic.twitter.com/KoKwl0GCin
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) August 20, 2021
Changing Sydney's lockdown approach — and extending the stay-at-home orders — isn't unexpected given that locally acquired COVID-19 case numbers have hovered above 600 for several days now. NSW reported 644 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, August 19.
The Premier has been talking up the possibility of eased restrictions for vaccinated people once the state hits the six million jabs mark, and is set to provide more information on what that means in practical terms sometime next week.
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.
Stricter rules will apply in Sydney's 12 LGAs of concern from 12.01am on Monday, August 23 — and Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong will remain in lockdown until at least the end of September. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.
Top image: The Commercial Hotel.
Published on August 20, 2021 by Sarah Ward