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Regional New South Wales Will Remain in Lockdown Until At Least September 10

Stay-at-home conditions will remain in place for the entire state of New South Wales until at least 12.01am on Saturday, August 28.
By Sarah Ward
August 26, 2021
By Sarah Ward
August 26, 2021

Today, Thursday, August 26, New South Wales reported 1029 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, marking the biggest daily number Australia has recorded during the entire pandemic. While the majority were identified within Sydney, case numbers are still growing in regional parts of the state — and, in response, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that everywhere outside of Greater Sydney will remain in lockdown until at least midnight on Friday, September 10.

As previously announced, Greater Sydney is under stay-at-home conditions until at least the end of September; however, regional NSW's lockdown was due to end at 12.01am on Saturday, August 28. Obviously, case numbers were always going influence whether that actually occurred. Regional parts of the state have been under stay-at-home rules since mid-August.

At the state's daily COVID-19 press conference today, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said that "the decision to extend the lockdown is one to protect communities and protect the regions. We're sitting on a knife-edge. It's a tinderbox ready to explode."

"And I do apologise to those communities that don't have cases today. But I put it this way: one of the reasons you may not have cases is because of the restrictions in place, minimising movement, because we know we're a very interconnected community in regional and rural New South Wales," he continued. "But we'll be working with those communities. We'll be working with the health team for regional New South Wales. We are on a knife-edge in the regions. We need to take pressure off the health system."

Under the 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 in 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.

The entire state of New South Wales will remain in lockdown until at least midnight on Friday, September 10. For more information about the status of COVID-19 in NSW, head to the NSW Health website.

Published on August 26, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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