The NSW government is set to extend Sydney’s Covid-19 lockdown for another month – a total of nine weeks – on Wednesday after the state hit a new record of 172 daily infections.
Media reports on Tuesday night say what many tracking the daily case numbers already suspect – that Australia’s biggest city, home to five million people, is in for a long fight against the spread of the highly infectious Delta strain.
The decision was reportedly made at an emergency cabinet meeting of the NSW government on Tuesday evening.
Just days away from the scheduled July 31 end to the lockdown, which began on June 26, a combination of daily case numbers, and more importantly, the number of people moving through the community while still infectious – on Monday it was 60 cases during their entire infectious period, while contact tracers hunted for the source of infection in 87 of the new cases – appears to have sealed the fate of the city .
Rapid antigen testing, which could give results in 15-30 minutes, is likely to be introduced in a bid to get people back to work and mobile, along with HSC students.
The SMH reports that construction workers will able to get back on the tools from next week provided they’re not in one of the five current hotspot local government areas. Year 12 students, preparing to sit for their HSC in October, which has already been delayed by a week, will return to face-to-face learning, while other years continue to learn online.
The Australian reports that there’s also a concession for people living alone – a “singles bubble” will be introduced so they can nominate a significant person to hang out with. An estimated 350,000 people live alone.
Breaking: The NSW Government will move to implement a COVID-safe singles bubble for Greater Sydney residents. Crisis cabinet decided on the measure this afternoon. Pushed quite hard by @VictorDominello – more on this at @australian
— Yoni Bashan (@yoni_bashan) July 27, 2021
By the end of this week, all adults will reportedly be to book the AstraZeneca vaccine at NSW Health clinics, including at pharmacies, as the push to rapidly increase vaccination levels gets underway.
The government is reportedly hoping everyone in a city of 5 million people will have at least received a first injection in the two-jab program by the end of August.
An official announcement on the continued lockdown, along with the government’s “roadmap” to easing restrictions, is expected to be announced by NSW premier Gladys Berijiklian at the daily briefing at 11am on Wednesday.