NSW Is Set to Release a Roadmap Detailing Greater Sydney's Restrictions for the Coming Months
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the roadmap will outline how the area can "live as freely and as safely as possible until we get enough vaccines in arms."
It has been four weeks since the Greater Sydney area went into lockdown, and COVID-19 case numbers still keep rising. Today, Friday, July 23, New South Wales reported 136 new locally acquired cases in its daily figures. Accordingly, although an end date of Friday, July 30 was floated when the stay-at-home conditions were last extended, that isn't looking particularly realistic.
But, if you're wondering what the next few months might have in store once the lockdown can end, you'll soon have a much better picture. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has advised that the state government will be releasing a broader roadmap next week — so, sometime in the week beginning on Monday, July 26 — that'll detail what August, September and October will look like.
At her daily press conference, alongside announcing that residents of the Cumberland and Blacktown Local Government Areas are now only allowed to leave their LGAs for essential work, the Premier said that "there is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage." She also advised that "it is fairly apparent that we will not be close to that next Friday."
While there's no word yet on when lockdown will end, the Premier also said that "the New South Wales Government, based on the advice of [NSW Chief Health Officer] Dr Chant, will be working hard over the weekend and early next week to provide a roadmap for the people of New South Wales."
She continued: "our challenge is to live as freely and as safely as possible until we get enough vaccines in arms. That means that we need to live as freely and as safely as possible during August, September and October. According to the federal vaccination rollout, by the end of October we will be at the stage for much more the population be vaccinated, and we will be able to live much more freely beyond that point — but we have to provide a roadmap to our citizens as to how best we can live freely, and also as openly as possible."
If you're wondering what that might mean, some level of restrictions will obviously remain in place once lockdown does end. Sydneysiders are used to that, given that rules around everything from venue limits and dancing to at-home gatherings and masks changed multiple times between the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns. This time, though, there'll be a roadmap of exactly what'll stay in place until more NSW residents have access to vaccinations.
The Premier also said that "the New South Wales government will be refocusing our efforts to a much more targeted strategy of focusing on Local Government Areas that are impacted, because we want to contain the spread". However, whether this will change during the current lockdown, or if it'll come into effect once locally acquired cases and the number of new cases who've been in the community begins to subside, is yet to be revealed.
"Where there are opportunities for us to open up, to ease restrictions, to let the economy undertake its necessary work, we will do that — but we will have a clean review next week on what August, September, and October look like for citizens around the state," the Premier said.
"A strategy remains to keep the virus out of the regions and allow the regions to continue doing what they are doing, but our strategy also involves having a much more targeted and localised approach, as well as looking at other parts of greater metropolitan Sydney, and what adjustments need to be made there."
For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.
Published on July 23, 2021 by Sarah Ward