Covid NSW: Greater Sydney locked down until end of September

·News Reporter
·3-min read
  • NSW records 644 new local cases

  • Greater Sydney lockdown extended to end of September

  • Masks compulsory outside of homes

  • Curfew implemented for LGAs of concern

Greater Sydney's lockdown has been extended while several restrictions have been tightened in a last-ditch effort from the NSW government to suppress its raging Delta outbreak.

Amid an escalating Covid crisis in Sydney's west which contributed significantly to a further 644 locally acquired cases on Friday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the LGAs of concern will now have a curfew from 9pm to 5am beginning on Monday.

"Given the compliance challenges that police have updated us on in the last few days and given the surge in case numbers, the government is now announcing its final measures to make sure we throw everything at getting the case numbers down," she said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is facing mounting pressure over her handling of the Delta outbreak. Source: AAP
Premier Gladys Berejiklian is facing mounting pressure over her handling of the Delta outbreak. Source: AAP

Tough, new Covid restrictions to stop the spread

Greater Sydney's lockdown will now run to the end of September, an extension of more than a month.

Masks will also be compulsory outside the home asides from when exercising.

"I tasked health and police to work together to give me a final list of what we can throw at this to leave no shadow of doubt as to how serious we are about getting the right of growth down the case numbers down," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We've thrown everything at this... this is it.

"It is time for all of us to bunker down."

She said an "overwhelming" number of cases were continuing to emerge in Sydney's southwest and west.

Those in LGAs of concern will now be limited to one hour of exercise a day.

The 12 LGAs of concern are Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield, and some suburbs of Penrith.

Ms Berejiklian said her government was asking for all childcare workers in areas of concern to have received at least one dose of vaccine before August 30.

A further four people have died from the virus, a man in his 70s, a man in his 80s, and two women in their 80s, taking the outbreak's death toll to 65.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the changes were needed to slow the spread and give the government chance to vaccinate the state's population.

An increasingly-frustrated Dr Chant said it was time residents, particularly those flouting the rules, stepped up to change the course of the outbreak.

"I do not want to be standing here every day, announcing these high rates of hospitalisations, and these deaths, every one of these deaths is someone mother, father, grandmother, grandfather," she said.

Clarifying Ms Berejiklian's desire to ease restrictions for fully vaccinated people at six million jabs, Dr Chant said any changes would be "very basic and minimal".

Dr Kerry Chant denies resignation threat

Dr Chant denied she had threatened to resign from her position amid speculation of a conflicting outlook on direction to the premier. 

"I am so committed to seeing this outbreak behind us. I am so committed to doing all I can as part of a broader team across health and across government," Dr Chant said.

Responding to criticism the latest restrictions have come too late in the outbreak, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said reporters would have "laughed me out" if he had implemented a curfew on day one of the Delta outbreak.

Dr Chant and Ms Berejiklian have repeatedly and vociferously denied the efficacy of curfews as a public health measure amid the outbreak and the premier again admitted the evidence of curfews was "mixed".

"But I do not want us to have to look back and say we did not try, we did not put everything into it," she said.

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