Sydney could be stuck in lockdown for months longer than expected because only 40 per cent of residents are actually staying home, expert modelling claims.
The modelling predicts that if 80 per cent of Sydneysiders were compliant, case numbers of the Delta variant would be in single figures.
But if compliance fell to 70 per cent, it would take until late September to control the outbreak.
Sydney appeared to be on its way out of lockdown as cases dropped from their peak on Monday to 65 on Thursday, but then rose to 111 on Saturday.
The lockdown in Sydney hasn’t stopped people’s appetite for the great outdoors (pictured, people exercising on Saturday at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney’s east)
Despite the lockdown in Sydney, people were spotted out and about on Saturday morning (pictured, people at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney’s east)
Mikhail Prokopenko, director of the University of Sydney’s Centre for Complex Systems, said Sydney’s social distancing was woefully inadequate.
‘Our estimation shows that with only 40 per cent of people staying at home, that would be inadequate even for a less transmissible variant, and for Delta it doesn’t even scratch the surface,’ he told The Australian.
‘If that trend continues then the incidence numbers will not start reducing, they will keep growing and the lockdown will continue.’
Professor Prokopenko said it was vital people reduced the frequency of their grocery shopping each week as well as other activities such as exercising beyond an hour or catching up with friends.
These would have to drop to 10 per cent of normal activity of the city was to have a chance at getting out of lockdown soon.
He added he was bewildered by the repeated level of non-compliance with public health orders imposed by under-siege state governments.
‘Some people have a legitimate reason not to stay at home because they’re engaged in essential services,’ Professor Prokopenko said.
‘Maybe 30 per cent are doing essential services and maybe the other 30 per cent are simply not complying.’
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed 111 new case numbers and one death in her state at a press conference from 11am (pictured, police on patrol in Manly, on Sydney’s northern beaches on Saturday)
Scores of people were spotted on Saturday morning walking from Shelly Beach to Manly and back on Sydney’s northern beaches (pictured)
Research from the Burnet Institute also found tougher restrictions would be required to effectively control the outbreak of the Delta variant in NSW.
On Saturday morning, scores of people were spotted out and about at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney’s east as well as Manly on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Social distancing was non existent and groups exceeding two were in every direction as police struggled to enforce the mandatory public order requirements.
However, in NSW throughout the latest outbreak, there hasn’t been a single recorded case of Covid spread via outdoor transmission, with the community activity considered low risk by health experts.
Homes and close contacts is where the virus has thrived in recent weeks.
Close to 50 per cent of all cases in the state since July 5 have been household contacts, with people infected by someone they live with.
In Victoria, currently enduring their fifth snap lockdown, 19 cases of coronavirus were recorded on Saturday.
That figure was almost double the 10 diagnosed on Friday after the Delta strain began spread in Melbourne when infected removalists from NSW passed it on.
Mikhail Prokopenko, the Covid-19 modeller and director of the University of Sydney’s Centre for Complex Systems, says the current level of social distancing is woefully inadequate (pictured, a woman running and walking her dog in Sydney on Saturday morning)
Professor Prokopenko from the University of Sydney (pictured) also stated state it is vital people reduce the frequency of their grocery shopping each week as well as other non essential activities such as exercising beyond one hour timeframes in NSW
NSW Police have been out in force (pictured at Bondi Beach on Saturday) in a bid to enforce lockout rules
This couple were spotted taking some out on a seat in Rushcutters Bay on Saturday
Locals at Rushcutters Bay in Sydney’s east meet for their one hour of ‘essential exercise’ on Saturday
Further restrictions have since been introduced, with thousands of Sydneysiders to be locked in their neighbourhoods, most shops shut, and ‘non-urgent’ construction banned until at least July 30 as Covid cases spiked above 100 again.
The new restrictions announced by Ms Berejiklian on Saturday aim to completely shut down the southwest Sydney epicenter of the outbreak.
A man in his 80s from south-west Sydney was the confirmed death.
‘I can’t remember a time when our state has been challenged to such an extent,’ Ms Berejiklian said. ‘Not a single one of these decisions was taken lightly.’