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Covid-19

Sydney tightens lockdown screws: Shop browsing banned, 10km travel limit to exercise with 2 person cap

- July 9, 2021 3 MIN READ
Sydney, empty, CBD
Photo: AdobeStock
Travelling more than 10km from your home to exercise will be banned from 5pm tonight, July 9, amid a range of tightened lockdown rules announced by NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian today.

From 5pm today (Friday, 9 July) the additional restrictions are:

  • Outdoor public gatherings limited to two people (excluding members of the same household);
  • People must stay in their Local Government Area or within 10kms of home for exercise and outdoor recreation, with no carpooling between non-household members;
  • Browsing in shops is prohibited, plus only one person per household, per day may leave the home for shopping;
  • Funerals limited to ten people in total (from Sunday, 11 July).

“Do not leave your home unless you absolutely have to,” the Premier said.

With cases numbers climbing dramatically amid increased hospitalisations and a range of key metrics trending in the wrong direction, Berejiklian flagged that it was unlikely that the existing restrictions would be lifted next Friday, July 16,

“I appreciate the message I’m delivering today is quite shocking for a lot of people,” she said.

“But I need everybody to be shocked, because when I said just a few days before we had to go into lockdown that this was a scariest period for NSW during the pandemic.”

The Premier said the state faced its biggest challenge we have faced since the pandemic began.

“Unless there is a dramatic change, unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the numbers, I can’t see how we would be in a position to ease restrictions by next Friday,” she said.

 

Record infection rates

The tightened rules come as NSW announced 44 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hour to 8pm Thursday.

It’s the highest number since the outbreak began and 29 of those people were moving through the community while infectious.

There are 21 from south-west Sydney, eight from south-east Sydney and seven from western Sydney. 10 are close contacts, 25 household contacts.

43 people are now in hospital from COVID-19 complications. 14 are under 55.

10 are in ICU, including one in their 20s and one in their 30s. Four people are on ventilators, including a person in their 20s.

 

In 24 hours, the number of close contacts has doubled from 7000 to 14,000.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said people in Sydney’s south-east, including the suburbs of  Sutherland, Kareela, Sylvania, Hurstville and Maroubra, need to stay particularly vigilant and continue to get COVID-19 tests.

“The other suburbs where we are seeing a number of cases [are] Bossley Park, Smithfield, Fairfield, Glenfield, West Hoxton, Bass Hill, Greenacre, St John’s Park, Bonnyrigg Heights, Penania, Bankstown, Canley Vale, Carramar, Casula, Edensor Park, Chester Hill, Edmondson Park, Greenfield Park, Moorebank, Narellen Vale,” she said.

The new restrictions apply across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

Restrictions in regional NSW will remain unchanged.

The Premier appeared to slap down her health minister, Brad Hazzard, who earlier this week suggested that the city may have to get to a point “where we’re going to have to accept that the virus has a life which will continue in the community”.

Berejiklian said of the Delta strain, which new research suggests is more virulent and deadly that previous variants, is not something the state can cope with if it runs unchecked.

“We cannot live with this variant. No place on earth has, unless they have their vaccination rates much, much higher than what we do, because otherwise it subjects the population to thousands and thousands of hospitalisations, thousands of deaths, and I know that we are a bit complacent, there are a lot of commentators who argue it is not a serious disease,” she said.

“It is a horrible disease. It affects people of all ages.”

The latest information is at nsw.gov.au/covid-19