Snap lockdowns for EIGHT new regions 500km from Sydney

Eight more NSW LGAs have been plunged into lockdown to help battle the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19.

Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Gilgandra, Narromine, Walgett and Warren, which are all located in NSW’s west, were all locked down at 7pm on Wednesday. At 1pm, Dubbo was also placed into lockdown.

The eight LGAs will remain in lockdown at this stage until August 19, which is next Thursday. The rules in these areas are the same which apply to residents of Greater Sydney who have been in lockdown for about seven weeks.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant addresses media during a press conference in Sydney.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant speaks to the media on Wednesday. Source: AAP

Byron Bay, the Hunter, Armidale and Tamworth are also in lockdown.

When exactly anyone comes out of it remains a mystery at this stage, with Greater Sydney’s lockdown due to end August 28.

But that is now unlikely after back-to-back days of infections eclipsing 300.

The Hunter New England region was due to have its lockdown end later this week but with 14 cases on Wednesday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that now appears unlikely.

The premier is continuing her push for residents to get vaccinated as a solution.

"Two doses of 70 per cent vaccination [is the target] and NSW, if we had the current pace, we will hit that around the end of October," the premier said on Wednesday.

Members of the public are tested at a pop up Covid clinic at Roselands shopping centre in Sydney.
Tests are performed at Roselands shopping centre in Sydney. Source: AAP

But life won't be "back to normal" until 80 per cent of the population is vaccinated towards the end of the November, the premier said, referencing the Doherty Institute modelling produced for the national cabinet.

Ms Berejiklian said some people in NSW might be allowed more freedoms if six million vaccinations - or roughly 50 per cent having a first dose - were administered by the end of August.

"That is what we are working towards and something that our government is very keen to make possible," she said.

There are also reports people from Sydney have been travelling to regional areas seeking vaccinations.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant was horrified by the news.

"I am appalled that people would think, at this point in time, that is okay," she said.

"I don't see that as a reasonable reason to travel many hours for that."

with AAP

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