New South Wales has announced tougher coronavirus lockdown restrictions as the state’s case numbers climbed.
NSW recorded 111 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday night.
“That is the number which we need to get close to zero to be able to get out of the lockdown … unfortunately, this number is stubborn and it won’t go down,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Saturday.
The premier announced that non-urgent construction would cease and all retail stores, with the exception of a few essential outlets, would close from midnight until July 30.
“We want to get out of this as quickly as possible. This Delta variant has been a challenge for every single nation on the planet,” Ms Berejiklian said.
She warned that “every person in Greater Sydney is at risk” as the Delta variant rocks the state.
Stay-at-home orders tightened
Stay-at-home orders in NSW are being tightened in three key suburbs of Sydney.
From midnight on Saturday, residents in Fairfield, Canterbury, Bankstown or Liverpool local government areas are not allowed to leave their council area until July 30.
The only exception for residents from those areas is for those in health and emergency services.
Only critical retail such as supermarkets and pharmacies will be allowed to remain open from Sunday. Other retailers will have to do click and collect or takeaway, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Another rule in place from Sunday until July 30 is that construction, large or small, will shut.
All office workers and others working from home should not be pressured to come into work and employers can incur a $10,000 fine if they pressure employees to come in.
“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.”
She said at least 29 of the fresh cases were infectious in the community and it’s this number that is “stubborn”.
“We’re not managing to get that curve to come down,” she said.
NSW recorded 97 new local virus cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, with at least 46 out in the community for part or all of their infectious period.
Health chief Dr Kerry Chant also confirmed a Sydney man in his 80s as the state’s latest victim to succumb to the virus.
NSW COVID-19 numbers breakdown
Of the 111 locally acquired cases, 83 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 11 are from Western Sydney LHD, eight are from South Eastern Sydney LHD, seven are from Sydney LHD and two are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD.
There are currently 75 COVID-19 cases admitted to hospital, with 18 people in intensive care, six of whom require ventilation.
There were a record 81,970 COVID-19 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 77,587.
There have been 1,137 locally acquired cases reported since 16 June 2021, when the first case in the Bondi cluster was reported.
“People in Greater Sydney must stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave,” NSW Health said.
“You should only be shopping for essential items, and only leaving the house for as short a period of time as possible.
“We encourage people to shop online or use click and collect options. If you do leave home for an essential reason, remember to check in to and out of anywhere you visit.”
NSW Health highlighted transmission in workplaces as a key concern.
“Everyone should work from home if possible,” the department said.