Northern NSW to enter week-long lockdown from 6pm
New restrictions for Byron, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina
A Covid-19 positive traveller from Sydney has plunged another part of NSW into lockdown.
From 6pm tonight, the Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire Local Government Areas will face tough new restrictions as contact tracers scramble to access whether the virus is circulating in the coastal villages.
The rules are similar to those in force in Greater Sydney and other parts of the state. They will apply until 12.01am on August 17.
NSW Health confirmed the lockdown in a statement late on Monday afternoon following updated health advice.
"We understand this is a difficult time for the community and appreciate their ongoing patience and cooperation," the statement said.
"We are asking people not to seek exceptions to the rules, but to ensure they comply with them so we do not see further cases of COVID-19 in the community."
Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in these areas, or have been there on or after July 31.
Sydney man spreads virus into Northern NSW
The lockdown comes after a man who disobeyed Sydney lockdown orders to travel to Byron Bay tested positive to the virus.
It's understood the infected man in his fifties visited to the region at the end of July and may have been infectious in the community for a while.
However health officials do not currently have information from his QR check-ins, which are compulsory when visiting venues in NSW.
Dr Chant said the man has been admitted to hospital. His family and close contacts are being tested and interviewed.
Large parts of NSW under lockdown
The Byron-Ballina-Lismore area is the second NSW region to be placed into lockdown today after Tamworth joined a growing list of LGAs under strict stay-at-home orders.
Greater Sydney, Tamworth, Armidale, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Singleton, Dungog, Muswellbrook and Cessnock are all facing restrictions as a result of new breakouts.
The latest lockdown comes after the state recorded 283 new local Covid cases in the past 24 hours.
Tamworth entered a snap seven-day lockdown at 5pm on Monday after a woman with Covid travelled to the area from Newcastle, which is also in lockdown, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced during a media conference.
She said the woman's visit has led to numerous Covid exposure sites, although no infections have been confirmed in the Tamworth area, which has an estimated population of 42,000.
Dr Chant said the young woman with Covid did not know she was infectious when she visited Tamworth on August 5.
More to come.
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