NSW has reported 825 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths.
The entire state is now locked down and a police blitz is underway to enforce tough new regulations and increased fines as authorities battle to contain the spread of the virulent Delta strain of the virus.
“We urge everyone in (the western and south west Sydney) to appreciate that every day they set foot out of their house, they should assume they’re going to come into contact with somebody who has the virus,” said Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
“And that is a fact, it’s not just an assumption.”
Meanwhile, trains are skipping major Sydney train stations, taxis and Ubers are banned from city zones, and traffic is slowing to a crawl as police fend off a planned anti-lockdown protest.
NSW Police have been warning Sydney residents not to show up to the protest planned to start in the inner city on Saturday afternoon.
More than 1500 officers will be stationed around the CBD, and a police chopper was circling above the protest’s planned starting point from around 10am.
Taxi and rideshare services are again shut out of the city between 9am and 3pm, with companies facing fines of up to half a million dollars if they take passengers to central Sydney.
The lockout zone extends from Lilyfield to Zetland to Milsons Point, and eastwards to Edgecliff – an area much larger than just the CBD.
Trains won’t be stopping at Redfern, Town Hall, Martin Place, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James and Museum before 2pm.
Poice have reduced ten major roads – including Oxford St in Paddington, Parramatta Rd at Annandale and the Pacific Highway at St Leonards – to a single lane for their operation.
The alleged organiser of the protest will spend at least three months in jail for failing to comply with NSW public health orders.
The persistently high numbers have led Premier Gladys Berejiklian to prolong stay-at-home orders in Sydney until at least September 30 and impose harsher rules on a dozen hotspot local government areas, including a curfew from 9pm to 5am.
From Monday, mask-wearing will be mandatory for all people in NSW when outdoors, except when exercising.
Construction sites will also face a compliance blitz as SafeWork NSW officers hunt for rule-breakers this weekend.
Three Sydney building sites saw fines of thousands of dollars each in the last week for not ensuring their workers were vaccinated.
One site in Liverpool has to cough up $20,000 after inspectors found its workers were not wearing masks or scanning QR codes, and their boss hadn’t ensured they were vaccinated or tested.
Residents in those council areas in the city’s west and southwest are from Monday limited to one hour of outdoor exercise per day.
NSW police have been given greater powers to enforce compliance including the ability to lock down apartment blocks while NSW Health assesses COVID-19 risk – before anyone even tests positive.
People who enter LGAs of concern without a reasonable excuse will face fines of $1000 and an order to isolate at home for two weeks.
Hardware stores like Bunnings, office supply stores and other retail premises must close in those 12 areas except for click-and-collect, and all exams and education activities must move online, except the HSC.
The new rules led Bunnings to declare it would close its stores, except for click and collect, across Greater Sydney.
A permit system will from Saturday also come into force for people travelling between Greater Sydney and regional NSW, which is in lockdown until at least August 28.