The entire state of New South Wales will be subject to stay-at-home orders as lockdown came into effect in regional areas on Saturday 5pm.
On the state’s worst day during the pandemic so far, Deputy Premier John Barilaro said on Twitter the stay-at-home orders would be introduced on Saturday for all of regional NSW.
The regional lockdown is set to last for seven days.
“To minimise movement and protect our communities from the evolving COVID situation in Sydney, stay-at-home orders will be introduced for all of Regional NSW from 5pm tonight,” Mr Barilaro announced on the social media site at 2.26pm.
“Reasonable excuses to leave your home include shopping for essentials, medical care, caregiving, outdoor exercise with a member of your household or one other person, and work, if you cannot work from home,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Schooling will be conducted from home.”
The announcement came just hours after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told a press conference the record rise in COVID-19 case numbers was “extremely concerning”, and announced tougher lockdown rules for greater Sydney and bigger fines for breaches of stay-at-home orders.
Ms Berejiklian posted a statement on Twitter acknowledging the expanded, statewide lockdown at 3.45pm.
“Following the press conference today, I received health advice concerning multiple regional NSW areas. As such, from 5pm tonight, all of regional NSW will go into a seven-day lockdown. This means the whole state is in strict lockdown,” Ms Berejiklian wrote.
Following the press conference today, I received health advice concerning multiple regional NSW areas. As such, from 5pm tonight, all of regional NSW will go into a seven-day lockdown. This means the whole state is in strict lockdown. pic.twitter.com/urND0bYfkT
— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) August 14, 2021
NSW reported 466 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths overnight.
This brings the number of coronavirus-related deaths to 43 during the current outbreak, with NSW recording 99 overall.
‘Operation stay-at-home’: More police hit streets
Premier Berejiklian told reporters on Saturday morning that travel restrictions would be tightened in greater Sydney effective from Monday.
“You can do activity within your local government area but instead of 10km from your home, it will be 5km from your home and that’s for all of greater Sydney,” she said.
The police presence will also ramp up with ‘operation stay-at-home’ in affected LGAs, with officers able to impose larger fines of $5000 for breaching public health orders.
“There will be a visible and increased police presence in the affected local government areas including deployment of specialised commands, and including the riot squad, highway patrol, and increased presence more broadly,” Ms Berejiklian said.
An additional 500 ADF personnel will be deployed on top of 300 already in NSW.
Also from next week, people in greater Sydney will need a permit to travel to regional NSW while single people in affected LGAs will need to register their “single buddies”.
Ms Berejiklian told reporters people leaving their house for exercise had to be either actively exercising or supervising children.
“Exercise means exercise, many people know that but unfortunately some people were trying to get around the rules imposed,” she said.
The biggest increases in case numbers in western Sydney were in Blacktown, Doonside, Mount Druitt, Marylands, Guildford and Auburn, the Premier said.
Of the new local cases, 121 are linked to known outbreaks and 345 are under investigation, while 87 people were in the community for all or part of the time they were infectious.
The isolation status of 303 people is also under investigation.
This brings the number of COVID-related deaths to 43 during the current outbreak.