Following a morning press briefing in which she strongly hinted that further restrictions would be introduced, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that the whole Greater Sydney region, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong will now go into lockdown for two weeks from 6pm on June 26, until 11.59pm on July 9. Four LGAs – the City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick – had already been placed in lockdown from 11.59pm on June 25.
The same lockdown restrictions that had already been introduced are in effect. You may only leave your homes for four reasons:
- For essential work or education if it is not possible to study or work from home;
- For caregiving, medical appointments, getting tested for Covid-19 or getting a vaccination;
- For outdoor exercise, with groups of no more than a maximum of 10 people;
- For essential shopping including for groceries and medicines.
Weddings will be allowed to take place on Sunday, June 27, but from Monday, June 28, weddings will no longer be allowed.
Berejiklian convened an emergency meeting of her cabinet to discuss the growing crisis in Sydney, after the state’s top medical expert, Dr Kerry Chant, revealed that several new exposure sites had been confirmed outside of the four LGAs already under lockdown. The speed at which the highly contagious delta variant has spread through the city is now outpacing the abilities of the NSW contact tracers to break the chains of transmission, necessitating the strictest restrictions in NSW since the national shutdown last March.
All regions outside of the lockdown areas of the state will also be required to follow greater health restrictions, including wearing a mask in public indoor settings; reduced capacities in hospitality venues; reduced capacities in performance venues to 50 per cent; and no singing or dancing in public.
The premier said that the delta variant was 50 per cent more contagious than other strains that have been detected in Sydney and that 14 days was the minimum length of a lockdown needed in order to return the state’s zero community transmission target according to the state’s health experts.