Sydney lockdown extended to 30 July

Castlereagh Street in Sydney's CBD largely devoid of people during the current lockdown. File photo.

By PETER HACKNEY

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that Greater Sydney’s lockdown has been extended to Friday, 30 July.

Speaking at the daily Covid-19 update this morning, the Premier said, “It always hurts to say this, but we need to extend the lockdown for at least another two weeks.”

However, Ms Berejiklian said there would be no further tightening of the lockdown restrictions, despite media speculation over the past 24 hours that additional restrictions would be brought in.

The four acceptable reasons to leave your home remain unchanged. Residents are allowed to leave their homes in the following circumstances:

  • To shop for food or other essential goods and services (only one person per household per day can leave for essential shopping);
  • For medical care – including Covid-19 testing and vaccinations – or compassionate needs (only one visitor can fulfil carers’ responsibilities or visit for compassionate reasons);
  • To exercise (no more than only two people can exercise together – unless from the same household – and social distancing must be observed);
  • For essential work or education which cannot be done from home.

The lockdown extension comes after NSW recorded a further 97 cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

24 cases were in the community for all of their infectious period.

“The 24 number is what we need to get down to is close to zero as possible, before we end the lockdown,” the Premier said.

Contact tracers are scrambling to find the source of infection for 36 of the 97 new cases.

The premier thanked the community, particularly in the Fairfield area, for staying at home, and noted an increase in testing rates.

There were 65,322 tests conducted in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday, compared with the previous day’s total of 49,055.

Multiple lockdown extensions

The Greater Sydney lockdown – which began as a week-long lockdown of just four local government areas from 11.59pm on Friday, 25 June – has now been subject to three major extensions or changes.

On Saturday, 26 June, the lockdown was extended by a week, through to Friday, 9 July. At the same time, the lockdown area was expanded to encompass the entire Sydney metropolitan area, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour. 

Then, on Wednesday, 7 July, the lockdown was again extended to midnight on Friday, 16 July.

Today’s extension announcement means that by 30 July, there will have been some form of lockdown in Sydney for 35 consecutive days. 

Financial support

This morning’s news follows a joint press conference hosted by Ms Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday afternoon, at which additional financial support for individuals and businesses affected by the lockdown was announced. 

For information on financial support for individuals, visit www.servicesaustralia.gov.au.

For information on financial support for businesses, including sole traders, go to www.service.nsw.gov.au.

Peter Hackney is the editor-in-chief of the Sydney Sentinel.