TikTok reveals confusing detail about Sydney's lockdown

·News Editor
·3-min read

People have expressed confusion over what is considered an essential business under Greater Sydney's Covid lockdown

A TikTok video filmed from inside a Sydney shopping centre has revealed the surprising stores that are still open despite people only being allowed to leave their home for essentials. 

"Went to the dentist today and had to go through my local shopping centre and to be honest there were a lot of shops still open and I really wasn't expecting it – we're meant to be in lockdown," the woman who shared the video said. 

She then panned the camera to show the stores in the shopping centre that remained open, including jewellery stores, gift and toy shops and a rug store. 

A rug shop is seen open in a shopping centre.
The TikToker was confused by why a number of shops were open in her local shopping centre. Source: TikTok/@liv1982

One commented that it partly explained why case numbers were not dropping, with NSW reporting 44 new locally acquired cases on Friday, the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

The woman who posted the TikTok agreed.

"No one will stay at home if the shops are open, and pointless for shops to stay open," she said. 

The video did however spark debate, with some saying people needed to keep their jobs despite the lockdown.

But others said many hospitality workers were stood down as a result and there shouldn't be the rule for some and not others. 

"Why do toy stores get that privilege?" one asked. 

Confusion over essential businesses

One new case has been linked to IKEA in Tempe, and anybody who attended the store on July 6 between 10am and 9pm is considered a close contact and must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days regardless of the result. 

During Friday morning's news briefing, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was asked whether she was forcing people to work by not defining essential businesses.

"It is obvious from the information that the person who was at IKEA was a staff member who had been there for 11 hours," the reporter said.

"Aren't you, by not defining what is essential, forcing people to go to work? And that is exposing large numbers of people."

Ms Berejiklian said people understood what was required of them in the lockdown.

"We don't want people unintentionally suffering as they can't access something they really need," she said.

"But the basic message is do not leave your house unless you have to.

"As [Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant] said, browsing, killing time is not a good enough reason to leave the house.

"Getting an essential item, a baby product, getting bedding or heating, if you can, do it online. Do it virtually."

The premier added they did not want to cause unnecessary anguish and hurt to people already doing it tough. 

"We do need to make sure people are doing the right thing. Refusing to wear a mask in a particular setting, refusing to follow any of the health orders in a particular setting, is a risk to all of us, and is an equal risk across the board, we can't have that continuing."

Dr Chant asked people to think before they stepped out of the house about whether they can buy their item online or Click & Collect.

"If you need to go to the store to collect the item, and it is essential, can you make sure that you stay there for the most minimum period."

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