Sydney’s stay-at-home lockdown has been extended for another four weeks to stem the spread of the highly-contagious Delta strain of Covid-19.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the lockdown extension on Wednesday morning as she announced another 177 cases of the virus had been recorded in the state overnight.
She said 46 of those cases were infectious in the community.
Health officials found 90 infections in south-west Sydney and 46 cases in the city’s west in the 24 hours to 8pm.
NSW Health also confirmed the death of a woman in her 90s at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney’s south-west; there are now 11 fatalities across the state linked to the latest outbreak of the Delta variant.
Five million residents in Greater Sydney – including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour – have spent nearly five weeks under strict home orders in a desperate attempt to slow the rate of transmission in the city.
The new extension will expire on Saturday, August 28 at 12.01am.
Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday announced she was also ring-fencing three more local government areas – Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River – from 11.59pm on Wednesday night in an attempt to contain the virus’ spread.
Only authorised essential workers will be allowed to leave those LGAs for work. Two million Sydneysiders living across 94 suburbs in eight government areas are now subject to the tightened travel restrictions.
The state leader said an extended lockdown was the ‘obvious’ solution given the number of community cases was still increasing.
‘It was fairly obvious, given the way the numbers were going in the last few days, it would have not been possible for us to get out of lockdown tomorrow or Friday,’ she said.
Pictured are pedestrians walking with coffees in hand in Darling Point in Sydney’s east. The city’s stay-at-home lockdown has been extended for another four weeks to stem the spread of the highly-contagious Delta strain of Covid-19
Shoppers wearing face masks walk along Beamish Street at Campsie in Sydney’s south-west
Essential workers leaving Canterbury-Bankstown will need to be tested every three days. Pictured are three masked pedestrians in Auburn in Sydney’s western suburbs
‘It would not have been realistic for the NSW government to make a decision [on ending the lockdown] in the next two weeks given where we are today.’
All Greater Sydneysiders have also now been told they can now only travel 10km for essential shopping if what they need to buy is available locally.
Construction sites will be allowed to re-open with enhanced Covid-safe protocols from July 31 after a two-week shutdown.
From August 16, Year 12 students will return to face-to-face learning and those going into the classroom will use rapid antigen testing to monitor for coronavirus transmission.
Testing requirements have also been tweaked to minimise movement in the hotspot suburbs where the virus is spreading most rapidly.
All essential workers leaving Canterbury-Bankstown will need to be tested every three days.
In Fairfield and Cumberland, only aged care and healthcare workers will have to follow the same rules.
ALL THE CHANGES TO GREATER SYDNEY’S LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS
From 11.59pm on Wednesday July 28:
Greater Sydney residents including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour must limit essential shopping trips to within 10km of their homes.
Non-essential workers living in the Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River LGAs cannot leave their area for work.
The same rules already applied for residents in Fairfield, Cumberland, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool and Blacktown.
Essential workers leaving Canterbury-Bankstown will need to be tested every three days.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has extended Sydney’s stay-at-home lockdown for another four weeks
In Fairfield and Cumberland, only aged care and healthcare workers must be tested every three days.
From 12.01am on Saturday, July 31:
Construction sites can reopen outside the eight LGAs under tighter restrictions.
A singles bubble will be opened – allowing couples to visit each other’s homes.
Tradesmen can resume work as long as they do not come into contact with residents. That work will also be banned in the eight LGAs of concern.
From August 16:
Year 12s will return to face-to-face learning and a Pfizer vaccination program will begin in the eight LGAs where transmission of Covid-19 is at its highest.
Rapid antigen testing will also be used for students returning to school across Greater Sydney
The state government meanwhile has announced the JobSaver program will be boosted for businesses with an annual turnover of between $750,000 and $250million if they have had a revenue decline of 30 per cent or more.
Businesses that maintain how many staff they employee can now receive between $1,500 and $100,000 per week, up from $10,000.
Payments are based on 40 per cent of their weekly NSW payroll.
The decision to extend the lockdown was reportedly made in crunch crisis talks on Tuesday night after 172 new cases were announced earlier in the day.
A police officer speaks to a member of the public at Rushcutters Bay Park on Wednesday. All Greater Sydneysiders have been told they can now only travel 10km for essential shopping if what they need to buy is available locally
NSW Health flagged a further 49 venues in a late-night public health alert on Tuesday, including 13 supermarkets.
While the west and southwestern suburbs remains the epicentre of the highly contagious Indian Delta outbreak, the focus is now shifting to new areas that had so far been largely unaffected.
There were over a dozen exposure sites listed on the Northern Beaches, three on the North Shore, six in the Inner West and two in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire.
The new venues of concern were announced amid concerns the state’s ‘gold standard’ contact tracers are struggling to cope with the Delta strain.
As of Monday 14,000 close contacts were in isolation, double the number from three weeks earlier, with 7,500 of those linked to two sites.
JOBSAVER PROGRAM REINTRODUCED IN NSW
The state government has announced the JobSaver program will be boosted for businesses with an annual turnover of between $750,000 and $250million which have had a revenue decline of 30 per cent or more.
Businesses that maintain their employee headcount can now receive between $1,500 and $100,000 per week, up from $10,000.
Payments are based on 40 per cent of their weekly NSW payroll.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the restrictions would mean struggling businesses can ‘keep the lights on’.
‘We are investing billions to give people that piece of mind,’ she said.
Applications for JobSaver opened on Monday and more than 14,000 applications have already been received.
Almost $28 million has been approved for payment so far.
A potential super-spreader event at Belrose Woolworths on the Northern Beaches has put 5,000 shoppers in isolation, while 2,495 close contacts so far have been linked to the Campsie Centre shopping mall in the city’s south-west.
Among the venues exposed are four Coles, seven Woolworths, four Bunnings, a McDonalds, an organic bakery and even a skatepark.
It comes as Sydney recorded a new record high for this outbreak of 172 cases, bringing the total number of infections to since the outbreak began last month to 2,397 – with 79 new worrying mystery cases.
There are concerns the state’s ‘gold standard’ contact tracers are struggling to cope with the Delta strain. Pictured are two women wearing activewear exercising in Sydney on Wednesday
HOW CONSTRUCTION WILL REOPEN IN SYDNEY FROM JULY 31
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said construction sites across Greater Sydney could reopen as long as they followed stricter Covid-19 safety measures
‘Works in occupied premises including residential homes can also resume from this Saturday where there is zero contact between workers and residents,’ he said.
‘There will be a limit of up to two workers for indoor services and five workers for outdoor services, and works will only be possible where it is feasible for residents to vacate the area.’
Construction though will not resume in the eight LGAs of concern – Fairfield, Blacktown, Cumberland, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta and Georges River Local Government Areas.
Coles in Fairfield West (pictured) is just one of 13 supermarkets listed as coronavirus exposure sites on Tuesday night, as Sydney prepares for a four-week lockdown extension
Narrabeen Bunnings (pictured) on Sydney’s Northern Beaches has been flagged as a Covid exposure site with infections slowly creeping their way out of the city’s south-west epicentre
With such spiralling numbers there are now fears that the state’s contact tracers are overwhelmed after a woman was told she was a close contact four days after the Campsie Shopping Centre was exposed to the virus for an 11-day stretch.
Of most concern to contact tracers is three venues where Covid transmission has occurred.
Anyone who visited the Madhouse Bakery in Chullora, Sydney’s west, on July 21 between 8am to 6pm is considered a close contact and must immediately get tested and self isolate until they receive a negative result.
Gordon McDonalds on Sydney’s Lower North Shore (pictured) was also issued a public health alert for Covid on Tuesday night in a bumper list of 49 new venues
It is the same story for anyone who attended Bankstown Westpac on July 19, 21, 22 and 23 and for the Flower Power Garden Centre in Terrey Hills on the Northern Beaches from 2pm to 3pm on July 19.
The Northern Beaches has largely been unaffected by Sydney’s latest outbreak, which began in the eastern suburbs and has spread dramatically though the city’s west.
But now Narrabeen Bunnings has been put on high alert, along with Warriewood Eleven11 and Dee Why Ampol.
Three venues in North Curl Curl were also flagged with Curl Curl Bacino Espresso and the North Curl Curl News agency all listed.
Gym junkies at Bondi Beach in Sydney (pictured) are approached by police officers on patrol on Tuesday, as 172 new cases were announced
Bundeena IGA in Sydney’s Southerland Shire (pictured) was flagged as an exposure site after being visited by an infected person
Manly Vale Skatepark was hit with a public health warning, as well as Terrey Hills Golf Paradise.
The trendy Mosman Grain Organic Bakery on the Lower North Shore was also flagged, along with a McDonald’s and Woolworths in Gordon.
Bundeena IGA and The Grocery Store in Miranda in Sydney’s Southerland Shire were also issued public health alerts along with a string of venues in the inner-west.
Police officers at Sydney’s Bondi Beach speak to gym junkies at the area’s outdoor gym (pictured on Tuesday) with 20C temperatures tempting people out of their homes
Woolworths in Glenrose Village at Belrose (pictured) has been exposed to Covid over several days, with 5,000 customers and staff now in isolation
Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Shoalhaven, Central Coast and Wollongong have been in lockdown since June 26, but coronavirus cases across the state have only grown – with more and more infectious in the community every day.
Countless people have been unable to work across multiple industries, as the NSW government struggles to contain the spread of the Indian Delta variant of the virus, especially in southwest Sydney.
Westpac on North Terrace in Bankstown (pictured) was exposed to coronavirus over four days with a worker testing positive. Alerts are out for visitors on July 19, 21, 22 and 23
Warning signs in the Lane Cove National Park on Tuesday (pictured) tell people not to gather or sit, with exposure sites now listed far and wide across the city
FIND THE LATEST EXPOSURE SITES NEAR YOU
It comes as new reports emerge that NSW Health contact tracers, one deemed Australia’s ‘gold standard’, are now overwhelmed by the flood of new infections.
One woman who visited Campsie shopping Centre, which was exposed to the virus for 11 days, was informed she was a close contact four days after the alert was sent out – with not every Sydneysider guaranteed to be across the nightly social media alerts for exposed venues.
While contact tracers were quick to instruct staff members of the situation and that they need to self isolate, shoppers were left in the dark.
‘We found the time lag from when my wife had attended the supermarket to when we were being notified a bit concerning, particularly as the information had been circulated on social media earlier, which we ignored,’ Justin Leach, who is currently in isolation with his wife, told ABC’s 7.30.
‘So we were concerned at the delay.’
There are now fears NSW Health contact tracers are overwhelmed with the flood of new infections (pictured, an eerily quiet Milsons Point next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Tuesday)
The number of close contacts across NSW has skyrocketed over the past three weeks, doubling from 7,000 people in isolation on July 7, to 14,000 as of Monday, July 26 (pictured, a medical practice in Sydney Lane Cove is seen advertising Covid jabs)
At her daily press conference on Tuesday, Ms Berejiklian rolled out a new pilot program to make vaccines available at the state’s chemists and pharmacies in order to rapidly increase the number of jabs to allow for an easing of economy-crippling lockdowns and job losses.
From this week, chemists can administer the AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab to all NSW residents over the age of 40 as part of a pilot program to boost vaccination rates across the state.
‘My message to everybody is please come forward and get the vaccine,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘Not only are you protecting yourself but you’re protecting those closest to you.’
Health Minister Brad Hazzard repeated calls for the federal government and other states and territories – which are relatively untouched by Covid – to give NSW more Pfizer vaccine doses to help fight Sydney’s outbreak.
‘We need more Pfizer,’ he said.
‘We are entirely dependent on the federal government supply of the vaccine. We know for a fact we will not have enough Pfizer in the next few weeks to do what we want to do.
‘We would have liked some help from our state colleagues, but that hasn’t happened.’
NSW CORONAVIRUS EXPOSURE SITES REVEALED TUESDAY NIGHT
Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.
Chullora Madhouse Bakery 22 Bellfrog Street Wednesday 21 July 8:00am to 6:00pm
Bankstown Westpac 12 North Terrace Monday 19 July 9:30am to 1:30pm. Wednesday 21 July 9:30am to 4:00pm. Thursday 22 July 9:30am to 4:00pm. Friday 23 July 9:30am to 4:00pm
South Strathfield Madhouse Bakery 22 Bellfrog Street Wednesday July 21 8:00am to 6:00pm
Terrey Hills Flower Power Garden Centre Terrey Hills 277 Mona Vale Rd Monday 19 July 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Liverpool Trinity Health Care Centre 157/161 George St Wednesday 21 July 9:45am to 11:15am
Campsie World of Fruit 224 Beamish Street Thursday 22 July All day. Friday 23 July All day
Fairfield Fairfield District Medical Centre 147 Polding Street. Friday 16 July All day. Monday 19 July All day
Campsie Campsie Family Medical Centre 248 Beamish Street Thursday 22 July 10.10am to 11.00am
Ashfield Exodus Foundation 180 Liverpool Road. Tuesday 20 July 11.30am to 1.00pm. Wednesday 21 July 11.30am to 1.00pm. Thursday 22 July 11.30am to 1.00pm. Friday 23 July 11.30am to 1.00pm
Granville Parkview Granville Place 14-38 Cowper Street. Saturday 17 July 5.50am to 1.30pm
Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a casual contact who must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received.
Merrylands Priceline Pharmacy Stockland Mall, Shop, 1090 McFarlane St Thursday 15 July 2:50pm to 3:05pm
Gordon McDonalds 761 Pacific Hwy Friday 23 July 1:30pm to 1:45pm
Merrylands La Mono Charcoal Chicken 106 Burnett Street Wednesday 21 July 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Minchinbury 7-Eleven 1042 Great Western Highway Tuesday 20 July 5:35am to 5:40am
Campbelltown Commonwealth Bank Shop L17-18, Level 2, Macarthur Square, Gilchrist Dr & Kellicar Rd Tuesday 20 July 9:30am to 5:00pm Wednesday 21 July 9:30am to 5:00pm Thursday 22 July 9:30am to 5:00pm Friday 23 July 9:30am to 5:00pm
Fairfield West Coles Market Plaza, 368 Hamilton Road Tuesday 20 July 4:00pm to 4:10pm
Bundeena IGA 96-98 Loftus Street Wednesday 21 July 10:00am to 10:15am
Green Valley Coles The Valley Plaza, 195 Wilson Rd Monday 19 July 4:00pm to 4:15pm Tuesday 20 July 12:30pm to 1:30pm Friday 23 July 11:30am to 11:35am
Green Valley Woolworths The Valley Plaza, 187 Wilson Rd Monday 19 July 4:10pm to 4:15pm
Carnes Hill Woolworths 245 Cowpasture Rd Friday 16 July 11:20am to 12:35pm Saturday 17 July 11:15am to 12:10pm
Fairfield Heights Woolworths Fairfield Heights Shopping Mall, 186 The Boulevarde Monday 19 July 10:45am to 11:15am
Hoxton Park Bunnings Corner Cowpasture Road & Airfield Drive Wednesday 21 July 3:00pm to 3:15pm
Toongabbie Raj Bhavan Restaurant 21b Aurelia St Sunday 18 July 7:00am to 8:00pm Tuesday 20 July 7:00am to 8:00pm
Auburn Woolworths Lidcombe 74 Wellington Road Thursday 22 July 11:30am to 12:00pm
Auburn Manchester Mart 74 Wellington Road Friday 23 July 10:30am to 10:50am
Lidcombe Fruitopia 92 Paramatta Road Friday 23 July 11:20am to 11:35am
Lidcombe Priceline Pharmacy 92 Paramatta Road Thursday 22 July 11:45am to 12:00pm Saturday 24 July 12:00pm to 12:10pm
Fairfield Heights Woolworths 186 The Boulevarde Tuesday 20 July 10:45am to 12:15pm
Chatswood East Caltex 364-366 Eastern Valley Way Sunday 18 July 11:30am to 12:30pm Monday 19 July 11:30am to 12:30pm
Ingleside Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre – General waste disposal Kimbriki Rd Monday 19 July 10:50am to 11:10am
Terrey Hills Joseph-Henry’s Bakery 4 Booralie Rd Monday 19 July 11:50am to 12:15pm
Warriewood IGA 270 Garden St Monday 19 July 12:10pm to 12:40pm Wednesday 21 July 9:00am to 9:20am Friday 23 July 8:00am to 9:00am
Belrose Bunnings Austlink Corp Park, Niangala Cl Wednesday 21 July 10:00am to 10:30am Wednesday 21 July 1:20pm to 1:50pm
Narrabeen Bunnings 1307 Pittwater Rd Wednesday 21 July 11:00am to 12:00pm Wednesday 21 July 1:00pm to 1:30pm
Warriewood Eleven11 Coffee 2/270 Garden St Friday 23 July 8:00am to 9:00am
Dee Why Ampol 793-797 Pittwater Rd Friday 23 July 3:45pm to 4:15pm
Mosman Grain Organic Bakery Kiosk 5/1-3 Brady St Friday 23 July 9:00am to 9:10am
North Curl Curl Curl Curl Bakery 142 Pitt Rd Saturday 24 July 9:45am to 9:55am
North Curl Curl Bacino Espresso Curl Curl 2/142 Pitt Rd Saturday 24 July 9:00am to 10:00am
North Curl Curl North Curl Curl Newsagency 142-146 Pitt Rd Saturday 24 July 9:55am to 10:05am
Manly Vale Skatepark 373 Condamine St Saturday 24 July 10:00am to 12:00pm
Terrey Hills Golf Paradise 1A/1B Myoora Rd Saturday 24 July 12:50pm to 1:30pm
Cabramatta Hungry Jacks 401 Cabramatta Road Thursday 22 July 8:15pm to 8:45pm
The Ponds Costis Seafood and Grill 101 The Ponds Blvd Saturday 24 July 4:05pm to 4:15pm
Smithfield Bunnings Corner Cumberland Hwy and Stuard Hwy Saturday 24 July 3:30pm to 4:00pm
Belmore Belmore Hardware 300 Burwood Road Thursday 22 July 9:30am to 11:00am
Casula Coles Casula Mall, Kurrajong Rd Thursday 22 July 8:20pm to 8:25pm
Auburn Woolworths Cnr Queen and Park Rd Saturday 17 July 10:40am to 11:05am
Liverpool Fruitland 13-15 Kenyon Street Monday 19 July 11:00am to 11:45am Tuesday 20 July 10:00am to 10:45am
Green Valley Coles 187 Wilson Road Tuesday 20 July 8:00pm to 8:15pm
Lidcombe Woolworths 92 Paramatta Road Friday 23 July 11:00am to 11:30am
Merrylands Hamze Bros Fruit and Veg 179 Merrylands Rd Wednesday 21 July 9:00am to 9:05am
Revesby Woolworths Revesby 60 Marco Avenue Saturday 24 July July 3.00pm to 5.00pm
Winston Hills Terry White Pharmacy Shop 20 Winston Hills Mall, Caroline Chisholm Drive Sunday 25 July 10.15am to 10.30am
Leichhardt Woolworths Leichhardt Leichhardt Marketplace, 122 Flood Street Thursday 22 July 12.00pm to 12.45pm Saturday 24 July 10:30am to 10:45am
Leichhardt Aldi Leichhardt Shop 21A Corner Marion Street and Flood Street Saturday 17 July 10.00am to 10.30am
Leichhardt Coles Leichhardt 51-57 Norton Street Sunday 18 July 12.00pm to 12.30pm
Leichhardt Commonwealth Bank Leichhardt Marketplace, 122 Flood Street Monday 19 July 9.45am to 10.00am
Leichhardt Bakers Delight Leichhardt Leichhardt Marketplace, 122 Flood Street Monday 19 July 9.45am to 10.00am
Bellambi Bunnings Corner Bellambi Lane and Watts Lane Tuesday 20 July 11.00am to 11.15am
Zetland Coles East Village O’Dea Avenue Sunday 25 July 12.00am to 4.30pm
Lakemba Big Fresh 133 Haldon Street Monday 19 July 4.00pm to 10.00pm. Wednesday 21 July 4.00pm to 10.00pm
Miranda The Grocery Store, Westfield Miranda 600 Kingsway, Westfield Miranda Thursday 22 July 10.30am to 10.50am
Greenacre Bunnings Corner Roberts Road and Amarina Avenue Tuesday 20 July 5.00pm to 6.00pm
Toongabbie Super Cellars 1/20 Bungaree Road Saturday 24 July 1.45pm to 2.00pm
Pendle Hill 7 Eleven Pendle Hill 217 Wentworth Avenue and corner Bungaree Road Friday 23 July 11.10am to 11.20am
Wetherill Park Joes Fruit World 1183-1185 The Horsley Drive Friday 16 July 12.00pm to 12.10pm
Roselands Fine Cut Quality Meats G/034 Roselands Drive Thursday 22 July 11.20am to 11.35am
Granville Powerfuel Petrol Station 101 Blaxcell Street Granville NSW 2142 Friday 23 July 2.45pm to 3.00pm
Lakemba ALDI Lakemba 212-226 Haldon Street Thursday 22 July 11.30am to 12.05pm
Glenfield Glenfield Cellars 78 Railway Parade Saturday 24 July 1.00pm to 2.00pm
Warriewood Coles Warriewood Square Jacksons Road Friday 23 April 10.00am to 11.00am
Collaroy Plateau 5B2F Fine Foods 65 Veterans Parade Saturday 24 July 8.30am to 9.00am
Fairfield Aldi Fairfield Forum 8/36 Station Street Tuesday 20 July 1.25pm to 1.40pm
Chester Hill Commonwealth Bank 130-134 Waldron Road Wednesday 21 July 12.15pm to 12.30pm
Bondi Beach Woolworths Metro 184 Campbell Parade Wednesday 21 July 6.00pm to 6.40pm
Liverpool Aldi Liverpool 82 Hoxton Park Road Wednesday 21 July 6.30pm to 7.00pm
Brookvale Coles Westfield Warringah Pittwater Road. Wednesday 21 July 1.00pm to 2.00pm. Friday 23 July 6.50pm to 7.10pm. Saturday 24 July 7.10pm to 7.30pm
Gordon Woolworths 802-808 Pacific Highway Thursday 22 July – Friday 23 July 8pm – 1am. Friday 23 July – Saturday 24 July 8pm – 1am
Villawood The Woods Pantry 5a/824-850 Woodville Road Friday 23 July 8.25am to 8.30am
Meanwhile in Victoria and South Australia, millions were released from their respective lockdowns at 11.59pm on Tuesday as planned.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews used the opportunity to take a swipe at his NSW counterpart, as he repeated calls for a ‘ring of steel’ around Sydney.
He also called for a city-wide curfew, as was implemented in Melbourne during its mammoth 112 day lockdown last year.
‘You are not just making decisions for NSW, you are making decisions for the whole country,’ Mr Andrews said on Tuesday.
‘We have all lived it and we’ve all been touched by the tragedy of it, and it’s on that basis and from that experience that we say we think these things, like a ring of steel around Sydney, and perhaps settings that are consistent across Sydney.
‘I don’t reckon any Victorian needs convincing that everything we did is worth trying in Sydney right now.’
He also tightened restrictions for those living in border towns with NSW.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) used the opportunity of his state leaving lockdwon to take a swipe at his NSW counterpart