Four Sydney areas forced into lockdown as Covid outbreak grows
Four inner city areas in Sydney will go into a snap one-week lockdown to curb the spread of the infectious Delta coronavirus variant as cases numbers continue to climb.
NSW announced 22 new cases on Friday, with the Bondi cluster growing to 65 cases.
Speaking to reporters on Friday morning, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said anyone who works or lives in Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick or the City of Sydney will only be allowed to leave their home under strict rules.
They include going to work if you can't work from home, attending an education facility, exercise, healthcare, taking care of a relative, and buying essential items.
"You need to stay at home unless absolutely necessary," Ms Berejiklian said.
"The necessary reasons include; if you can't work from home and you have to work outside of home. If you can't get educated at home and you have to get educated outside of home.
You can exercise outside, "although we don't want any groups of more than ten."
NSW confirms 22 new Covid cases as Sydney cluster grows again
"If you need to provide care or compassion to a relative. And fourthly, of course, if you need to buy essential goods or services," the premier said.
"These are the only reasons we want anybody who lives or works in those four local government areas to leave their home."
The Sydney suburbs ordered to stay at home
People who work in the four government areas but live elsewhere must also stay at home for the coming week.
While Ms Berejiklian does not live in any of the four local government areas identified, she has worked in them in the past fortnight and is therefore subject to the stay at home order.
"Anyone who has worked part-time or permanently in the four hot spots in the past two weeks are subject to stay-at-home orders. It doesn’t matter where you live. If you’ve worked in those four local government areas, you’re subject to the orders," Ms Berejiklian said.
"We appreciate what impact this will have significantly on businesses, especially in the CBD."
The lockdown measures will kick in at 11:59pm on Friday and are forecast to last until the following Friday, July 2.
It means hundreds of thousands of Sydney siders will be under lockdown conditions for the next week, at least.
The current restrictions for the rest of Greater Sydney have also been extended until midnight on July 2.
The government had previously held off declaring a lockdown, instead preferring to restrict the movements of residents, increase mask wearing and limit social and other gatherings.
The "four square metre" rule is also back in place.
When asked why she had avoided using the word "lockdown" in her update, the premier said: "You can use whatever word you want."
It comes as NSW announced another new 22 cases which have previously not been reported. Of those cases, 17 were detected after the midnight cutoff and will be officially included in Saturday's figures.
All new cases are linked to previously reported positives.
Health authorites are expecting more cases in the coming days.
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