'Sydney's on fire': Victoria calls for 'ring of steel' as NSW cluster grows

·2-min read

Premier Daniel Andrews has called for NSW to establish a "ring of steel" around Sydney, as Covid cases continue to rise, despite the lockdown.

On Friday, NSW recorded 136 locally acquired cases, prompting NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to regard the outbreak as a "national emergency". Restrictions have been tightened in Sydney's west and southwest and steps taken to get more vaccines into those areas. 

"This is not just a challenge for NSW but a challenge for the nation," she told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

"In order for us to have our citizens live freely and openly, as well as other states to ensure that their citizens live openly and freely, we need to have a national refocus."

Pictured is Daniel Andrews at a press conference and the Sydney Opera House amid the lockdown
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews called for a ring of steel to be used to contain Sydney's Covid outbreak. Source: AAP/Getty Images

Victoria remains in lockdown and reported 14 new locally-acquired cases on Friday, all linked to known outbreaks, which can be traced back to NSW.

Mr Andrews supports Ms Berejiklian's escalation of the Sydney outbreak to a national emergency. He said it is a national responsibility to contain Sydney's outbreak.

"Sydney is on fire with this virus, and we need a ring of steel around Sydney," he said.

Last year, amid Victoria's second wave, a ring of steel was established to keep Covid out of regional parts of the state and was policed by roadblocks and mobile checks.

Mr Andrews says the ring of steel used last year was both "intensive" and "challenging".

"We need a ring of steel around Sydney so that this is not spreading to other parts of the nation," he said. 

"Let's focus on fixing what is going on in Sydney, let's focus on not spreading what is going on in Sydney across the rest of our country. We will finish up with the whole country locked down if we don't do this properly."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at a press conference to provide a COVID-19 update in Sydney. Friday, July 23, 2021
NSW recorded 136 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 on Friday. Source: AAP

New rules for workers from Sydney's west

Mr Andrews said Sydney faces a "very significant challenge" and said his state is ready to offer practical support and experience.

Due to the mounting case numbers in NSW, Ms Berejiklian announced on Friday further restrictions would be slapped on workers in parts of Sydney's west.

Workers in the local government areas of Cumberland and Blacktown will not be able to leave the areas unless on the essential list of workers.

A list of authorised workers can be found on the NSW Government's website.

With AAP

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