New South Wales has registered a further 239 cases of Covid-19 as Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian warned that the Delta outbreak in Sydney ‘would get worse before it gets better’.
She said 70 of those cases were contagious in the community.
Just a day after extending Sydney’s stay-at-home stay for another four weeks, Ms Berejiklian also announced that anyone living in any of Sydney’s eight hotspot LGAs in the west and south-west of Sydney would be required to wear a mask when they leave home. .
‘If you set foot outside your household, you should always wear a mask. It doesn’t matter where it is,’ she said.
NSW Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro admitted earlier Thursday morning that his government has no idea which of Sydney’s lockdown restrictions are working during an on-air grilling of Today presenter Karl Stefanovic.
“Let’s see what happens in the next four weeks,” he said when asked what would happen if the extensive restrictions also failed to reduce transmission in the city.
“I don’t have a crystal ball to tell you what we’re going to do next.”
“I’m sorry to tell you this, but I think you just said you don’t know what works and what doesn’t. Is that what you said?’ Stefanovic responded.
Mr Barilaro replied that there was ‘no roadmap’ to get Sydney out of lockdown.
“We throw everything in there,” he said.
‘So what we’ve seen are stubborn numbers [I can’t] sit here and tell me I know how to get this under control. It still tests the government and its resources.”
A woman in sportswear runs along the beach in Bronte in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Wednesday. Greater Sydney has been under strict home isolation for nearly five weeks to stop the spread of the highly contagious Delta Covid-19 strain
A health worker takes a swab from a resident at a Covid-19 drive-through test clinic in Sydney on Wednesday
The map shows the eight local government areas where Covid-19 is spreading fastest
Mr Barilaro said the state government is relying on its experience with previous Covid-19 outbreaks during the pandemic to curb the spread of the Delta variant.
“The public should have faith in us because of what we’ve done in the past,” he said.
New South Wales Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro admitted his government has no idea which of Sydney’s lockdown restrictions are working and which aren’t on Thursday morning
“But we’re not going to pretend we have all the answers, because we don’t.”
He said increasing vaccination rates in NSW was key to taking the state out of the pandemic and ending the lockdowns for good.
“If we can vaccinate up to 60 to 70 percent of the population, you can see worldwide that it has enabled freedoms,” Barilaro said.
“It’s the only way we’ll never go back into lockdown.”
Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour responded to Barilaro’s admission that his government had no idea what life in Sydney would be like after the end of August.
“I was quite alarmed when I heard the Deputy Prime Minister say that the government doesn’t know what works and what doesn’t,” he said.
A pedestrian wearing a face mask is pictured in Sydney’s CBD. NSW recorded a further 177 cases on Wednesday as authorities extended the Greater Sydney lockdown for another four weeks
A pedestrian wearing a face mask walks through Sydney’s nearly deserted CBD on Wednesday
Policy is on the run and we need a plan to get out of this lockdown.
“The government needs to show us the plan so we can be sure we’ll be out in four weeks, but it doesn’t seem to me there.”
Cumberland mayor Steve Christou said on Wednesday that the nearly two million people living in those areas are “on the brink of returning” because of the grueling restrictions.
Wednesday’s increase in cases is the largest in Sydney’s latest outbreak and the highest daily increase since April 2020
“I’ve heard from many in the community that they are struggling to pay rent, mortgages and other bills,” he told 9News.
“It’s terrible that the many businesses that support families are no longer opening.
‘The building ban in our municipal area continues and hinders people’s livelihood. For many it is Armageddon.”
Burwood Coles in Sydney’s inner west (pictured) was flagged as a Covid exposure site on Wednesday night among a host of 104 sites unveiled Wednesday night
Meanwhile, nine young people, including eight teenagers from the western and southwestern areas of Sydney who are under the toughest lockdown, are accused of violating warrants and being involved in a high-speed chase with police in the Hunter region.
According to NSW police, the teens were driving a Honda Civic and were traveling 200 km/h in a 110 km zone. A 19-year-old woman and two teenagers – aged between 13 and 17 – were charged Wednesday for the incident, while the others will be treated under the Young Offenders Act.
Each has been fined $1,000 for violating health regulations.
In addition to the 104 new exposure sites Wednesday night, including several Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, a sewer alarm was issued for Molong in western NSW.
Essential exercise: Wednesday a Sydneysider is pictured taking a walk near Centennial Park
Health authorities fear the surprising find of sewage could indicate an ‘undetected’ spread of the highly contagious strain of the Indian Delta in the remote community of about 1,700 people.
Seventeen Woolworths supermarkets across the city were among others on alert, including stores in Burwood and Lidcombe to the west and Fairfield and Cabramatta to the southwest.
Burwood Coles was also identified as an exposure location, along with Campsie Growers Market and Bankstown Lebanese Fruit and Mixed Business.
ALL CHANGES TO GREATER SYDNEY’S LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS
Wednesday 28 July from 11.59 pm:
Residents of Greater Sydney, including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour, should limit essential shopping trips to within 6 miles of their home.
Non-essential workers living in the LGAs of Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River cannot leave their area to work.
The same rules already applied to residents of Fairfield, Cumberland, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool and Blacktown.
Essential workers leaving Canterbury-Bankstown must be tested every three days.
NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has extended Sydney’s stay-at-home lockdown for another four weeks
In Fairfield and Cumberland, only aged care and health professionals are required to be tested every three days.
From Saturday 31 July 12.01 pm:
Construction sites are allowed to reopen outside the eight LGAs under stricter restrictions.
A singles bubble opens – allowing couples to visit each other’s homes.
Traders can resume their work as long as they do not come into contact with residents. That work is also banned in the eight LGAs of concern.
From August 16:
Year 12 will return to face-to-face learning and a Pfizer vaccination program will begin in the eight LGAs where Covid-19 transmission is highest.
Rapid antigen testing will also be used for students returning to school in Greater Sydney.
A number of drugstores were also warned, including Pharmacy Warehouse in Campsie, Blooms the Chemist in Leichardt, Priceline Pharmacy in The Ponds and Choice Pharmacy in Spring Farm.
While most exposure sites remain scattered across the western suburbs, there are also growing concerns about potential spread to the Central Coast, about 75 miles (75 miles) north of Sydney.
Anyone who visited Long Jetty 7-Eleven on July 23 from 3:15 PM to 3:35 PM is considered an informal contact.
Bus passengers traveling on the Route 25 bus from Tuggerah Station to Bateau Bay or the Route 21 bus from Lions Park to Gosford Railway Station on July 23 consider close contacts and should immediately undergo 14 days of self-testing and self-isolation regardless of the result .