New South Wales has recorded 642 new Covid-19 cases

Sydney’s lockdown is extended until OCTOBER as Gladys Berejiklian slaps a CURFEW on the virus-ravaged west and makes masks mandatory OUTDOORS after four deaths and 642 new cases of Covid-19 including 11 people from an illegal party

  • Greater Sydney lockdown extended until October with 9pm to 5am curfew 
  • Restriction will apply to 12 local government areas in south-west Sydney 
  • Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood and Campbelltown among suburbs impacted

The Greater Sydney lockdown has been extended until October and a 9pm to 5am curfew introduced after 642 new cases and four more deaths were recorded.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the curfew would apply to the 12 local government areas of concern in south-west and western Sydney from 12.01am Monday. 

Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield and Penrith are among the suburbs affected.

‘We don’t want to see more of you end up in hospital,’ Ms Berejiklian said during a press conference on Friday. ‘We don’t want to see more of you lose loved ones.’  

Only authorised workers – including emergency and medical staff – will be allowed to leave their homes during the time period.   

Restrictions have also been tightened in the local government areas with police granted more powers, childcare and disability workers ordered to get vaccinated by the end of the month and a one-hour exercise limit enforced. 

The Greater Sydney lockdown has been extended until October and a 9pm to 5am curfew introduced after 642 new cases were recorded and four more deaths

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the curfew would apply to the 12 local government areas of concern in south-west and western Sydney from 12.01am Monday 

Only authorised workers – including emergency and medical staff – will be allowed to leave their homes during the curfew

‘I apologise deeply, to the vast majority of people in those communities who are doing the right thing, but for our own health and safety moving forward we need to make these difficult decisions,’ Ms Berejiklian said. 

Click and collect will only be allowed for garden centres, plant nurseries and stores that supply office, hardware and building, landscaping, pet and rural materials.

Childcare and disability support workers will be required to receive their first dose of the vaccine by August 30. 

The mask mandate has also been expanded to the rest of New South Wales with all residents told to wear face masks when outdoors unless exercising. 

A permit system will also come into force for people travelling between Greater Sydney and regional NSW from Saturday. 

Regional NSW – including Shellharbour and Central Coast – are expected to have restrictions lifted as planned on August 28. 

It comes despite 27 new cases recorded in the state’s west – with 21 in Dubbo and two in Bourke.

Four more people have died and include two women in their 80s – one from south-west Sydney and the other a resident at a Wyoming aged care facility. 

A man in his 70s has died after acquiring the infection at St George Hospital as well as man in his 80s after contracting the virus at Nepean Hospital. 

Chief health officer Kerry Chant appeared visibly upset by the figures and argued they justified the tightened restrictions.

‘I understand that this is going to be so hard for everyone across NSW for the next four to six weeks but I do not want to be standing here every day, announcing these high rates of hospitalisations, and these deaths,’ she said.

 Under the controversial vaccine passport-style scheme, when the state’s vaccination rate hits 70 per cent, those who are double-jabbed will be permitted to dine in outdoor restaurant settings, train at the gym or have a drink in beer gardens with capacity restrictions in place

‘We don’t want to see more of you end up in hospital,’ Ms Berejiklian said during a press conference on Friday

Restrictions tightened across NSW 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the Greater Sydney lockdown – which was due to end on August 28 – has been extended until the end of September.

A string of new restrictions have also been introduced for the 12 local government areas in south-west and western Sydney.

The suburbs affected include Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield and Penrith. 

– A 9pm to 5am curfew will be enforced. Only authorised workers – including emergency and medical staff – will be allowed to leave their homes during the time period.

– Outdoor exercise will be limited to one hour. 

– Authorised workers allowed to leave their LGA will be required to carry a work permit from August 28.

– Authorised workers will not be allowed to leave their LGA unless they have received their first dose of the vaccine or their worksite has set up rapid antigen testing from August 30. 

– Click and collect will only be available for the following stores: garden centres, plant nurseries, office supplies, hardware and building supplies, landscaping material supplies, rural supplies, and pet supplies. 

– All exams and other education or professional development related activities will be moved online. This does not include the Higher School Certificate for Year 12 students.

The face mask mandate has also been extended across New South Wales:

– All residents will be required to wear a face mask when outdoors unless they are exercising.     

– All healthcare workers across NSW must get at least their first COVID-19 vaccination by September 30 

Special powers have also been given to NSW Police:

– Power for the Commissioner of Police to lockdown apartment blocks while health assesses the COVID risk.

– Power for the Commissioner of Police to declare a residential premise a COVID-risk premise and require all people to present to police during compliance checks.

– Powers to allow police to direct a person who has been issued with an infringement notice to return to their place of residence.

– If a person from outside an LGA of concern is found to be in an LGA of concern without a reasonable excuse, they will be fined $1000 and required to isolate at home for 14 days.

Source: Health NSW 

 

‘Every one of these deaths is someone mother, father, grandmother, grandfather.’ 

The hardline stay-at-home night orders come despite Dr Chant admitting ‘the evidence for curfews is not strong’.

‘We are getting feedback throughout public health unit that a small number of people are still mixing across households and so we suspect that the curfew could assist in that,’ she said.

Health authorities conducted 127,590 tests and administered a record 132,000 vaccines in the last 24 hours. 

An illegal gathering at Maroubra, in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, has been identified as a cluster with 11 cases linked to it. Dr Chant slammed the blatant disregard of lockdown compliance.

‘I understand why people are tired and fatigued but we just cannot have that occurring, where we end up with a further escalation of cases associated with events that are not permitted at this time,’ she said. 

A worrying 30 childcare centres have been at the centre of outbreaks, prompting Ms Berejiklian to urge parents to keep their children home.  

Police have also arrested an alleged leader and organiser of an anti-lockdown protest that was scheduled to kick off in Sydney this weekend.  

Sweeping changes have also been introduced with police given more powers and a deadline set for childcare and disability workers to receive their Covid-19 jabs

Restrictions have also been tightened in the local government areas with police granted more powers, childcare and disability workers ordered to get vaccinated by the end of the month and a one-hour exercise limit enforced

The Queensland-based Victorian man, aged 29, allegedly breached public health orders by driving to the city last weekend.

NSW Police say he was staying at a North Sydney hotel but was located on Thursday afternoon at Hornsby train station.

He allegedly told officers he was lost and couldn’t give a reasonable excuse for travelling to Hornsby.  

Plans are also in the works to give fully vaccinated Sydneysiders exemptions and reopen some businesses once NSW reaches 70 per cent vaccination rates. 

The ‘Freedom Plan’ penned by state government ministers and officials is expected to be finalised next week if approved by premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Under the controversial vaccine passport-style scheme, when the state’s vaccination rate hits 70 per cent, those who are double-jabbed will be permitted to dine in outdoor restaurant settings, train at the gym or have a drink in beer gardens with capacity restrictions in place, The Australian reported.  

NSW Police minister David Elliott confirmed that officials were already working ‘very hard’ on plans to reopen gyms, restaurants and parks.

Ms Berejiklian claimed the tightening of restrictions was necessary to stop the spread of the Delta outbreak

Click and collect will only be allowed for garden centres, plant nurseries and stores that supply office, hardware and building, landscaping, pet and rural materials in the 12 local government areas of concern

‘That is the plan and it is something that a lot of people have been working very hard towards,’ he said   

‘We have to make sure that we continue to encourage people to get the vaccine and I can tell you as a member for a western Sydney electorate, the best way to motivate my constituents to get the vaccine is to tell them they can go to the pub soon.’ 

Customers would gain entry to venues by proving their fully inoculated status with an app displaying vaccination certificates linked to Medicare records.    

Mr Elliott would not disclose further details about when Sydneysiders could expect a formal announcement of the upcoming changes. 

The plan is promising news for residents who have been under stay-at-home orders for 55 days, but unlikely to come into effect until early October.

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However there may be some earlier relief from the gruelling lockdown with submissions to the government by NSW chief psychiatrist, Murray Wright, suggesting that some restrictions should be eased for the sake of mental health.

The development comes despite NSW recording its highest ever daily Covid case total of 681, as well as one death.

The figures prompted Ms Berejiklian to warn of difficult months ahead.

‘We want to be very clear… that September and October will be difficult for NSW,’ she said.

It is not entirely clear what measures may be loosened but an expansion to ‘singles bubbles’ outside of the 12 Local Government Areas of concern in Covid-ravaged Sydney is on the cards.

But those in the hotspot LGAs, concentrated in Sydney’s virus-riddled west and south-west, are unlikely to see any changes come September. 

Premier Berejiklian has faced immense scrutiny over her handling of the state’s Covid crisis and was heavily criticised for hinting that life could go back to normal when National Cabinet vaccination targets outlined by the Doherty Institute are reached – but only if case numbers start falling.

NSW Police minister David Elliott confirmed that officials were already working ‘very hard’ on plans to reopen gyms, restaurants and parks 

 The so-called ‘Freedom Plan’ has been penned in secret by ministers and advisors at the highest levels of the New South Wales government and is expected to be finalised next week. Pictured: Diner have breakfast at Sydney’s Albert and Moore Cafe in Freshwater on May 15, 2020, when the first lockdown was eased

In order to enter a venue, a person would simply flash a certificate or scan in with a QR Code to prove they were fully-vaccinated (pictured, a woman using a QR code to check in at a Manly supermarket)

What we know about the New South Wales ‘Freedom Plan’

The ‘Freedom Plan’, yet to be signed off on by Gladys Berejiklian, would allow fully vaccinated residents to get the jump on the state’s Covid lockdown.

But the proposal wouldn’t come into effect until 70 per cent of the NSW population have received both doses.

Here’s the roadmap out of lockdown:

September:

There will be little relief for businesses but individuals living outside Sydney’s 12 Local Government Areas of concern may see slightly more freedoms.

It is not entirely clear what they will be, but one likely possibility is an expansion of the ‘singles bubble’ rule to improve mental health.

October: 

– 70 per cent vaccination rate 

– Schools could re-open on October 5. 

– Fully vaccinated residents could be allowed to dine in outdoor dinning settings, have a drink in beer gardens and return to the gym

November: 

– 80 per cent vaccination rate

– Nightclubs to re-open for those who’ve had both jabs

– Case numbers will determine if the rest of the population will be able to emerge from lockdown 

‘The Doherty report says that if you want significant freedoms you need 70 per cent of your population fully vaccinated… and we intend to implement our policies in that regard,’ she said earlier this week.

‘However we are currently in lockdown and if in September and October we have high rates of vaccinations and certain communities indicate a lower number of cases there are opportunities for us to see what additional freedoms we give people.

‘Does it mean we will live like we did before the outbreak? No, but what it does mean is that people will be able to do more than what they can today.’

At the moment 55.2 per cent of NSW residents over 18 have received their first dose, with just 29.3 per cent fully vaccinated. 

Sydney’s 12 LGAs ‘of concern’, including Bankstown (pictured on Thursday) are unlikely to see any reprieve from gruelling restrictions anytime soon

Premier Berejiklian (pictured) has faced immense scrutiny over her handling of the state’s Covid crisis – but is now hoping to establish a roadmap for NSW to leave lockdown

At the moment 55.2 per cent of NSW residents over 18 have received their first dose, with just 29.3 per cent fully vaccinated (pictured, a walker in Sydney’s Centennial Park)

Vaccine passports have been a hot political topic in Australia and throughout the world, but Down Under the business community has been a major driver behind the idea, seeing it as a ticket to freedom and an answer to the relentless cycle of lockdowns that have crippled their establishments.

Under the NSW government proposal, anyone who has received both jabs would be issued with a commonwealth-assigned vaccination certificate through Medicare.

In order to enter a venue, a person would simply flash the certificate or scan in with a QR Code to prove they were fully-vaccinated.

Although retail shops and outdoor dining settings are expected to re-open at the 70 per cent vaccination rate, high-risk indoor venues such as nightclubs are unlikely to be up and running until the population hits the 80 per cent target.

Those in the hotspot LGAs, concentrated in Sydney’s virus-riddled west and south-west, are unlikely to see any chances come September (pictured, shoppers in the south-west on Thursday)

Police are seen outside an apartment complex in Campsie in Sydney’s south-west on Thursday, with all residents plunged into 14-day isolation after several caught the virus

The no standing while eating or drinking rule is also set to remain in place until the state eclipses 80 per cent coverage, and is unlikely to be changed until much later in the year.

The Berejiklian government’s roadmap out of lockdown could also see children return to the classroom for the beginning of term four on October 5, however if daily infection rates continue to increase this may be reconsidered.

The reason a vaccine passport style system is preferred over a gradual region-wide re-opening is because health officials fear they would be rewarding unvaccinated Australians lucky enough to be living in regions with high rates of inoculation.

Likewise, they feel it would punish vaccinated Australia living in areas with low rates of inoculation. 

The plan comes as Scott Morrison on Thursday announced young people aged 16 to 39, who are highly mobile and more at risk of both spreading the virus, will be be able to book the Pfizer vaccine from August 30.

The surprising development comes despite NSW recording its highest ever daily Covid case total of 681, as well as one death (pictured, shoppers in Guilford on Thursday)

The Prime Minister also said he hopes the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation will give the green light for children aged 12 and over to start receiving the Pfizer vaccine, with a worrying number of new cases both in NSW and Victoria being found among kids.

The Prime Minister said there are 8.6 million Australians in the 16 – 39 age group and they will be able to book an appointment at some point in the next week.

But amid fears the surprise announcement will prompt young people to cancel their AstraZeneca bookings, Mr Morrison implored Australians not to wait for the Pfizer vaccine.

‘The best vaccine you can get is the one that is available right now,’ he said.

‘If you are in Sydney get vaccinated today. Go out and do that right now. That is my clear advice. 

Mr Morrison said young Australians would be able to book their Pfizer appointments at some point in the next week, but implored anyone who can not to wait and instead get the AstraZeneca jab (pictured, queues for the vaccine at the Qudos Bank centre on Thursday)

Australians who get fully-vaccinated have been promised more freedoms – with some small adjustments to rules likely to come within weeks (pictured, a Bondi Beach restaurant shortly after lockdown was lifted in May 2020)

‘And that is what we want Australians to do.’  

Australia’s top scientists have advised Australians over 18 in places with Covid-19 outbreaks to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, which carries an extremely low risk of blood clotting as a side effect.

Tens of thousands have taken up the offer but many have decided to wait for Pfizer, which is not as strongly linked to blood clots in young people.

Mr Morrison said young Australians would be able to book their Pfizer appointments at some point in the next week. 

‘I want to stress, do not make a booking yet. We will advise when bookings can be made,’ he said.

What are the four phases of opening up? 

A. Vaccinate, prepare and pilot (from July 14)

Arrival caps cut in half to 3,035 a week; early, stringent and short lockdowns if outbreaks occur; trials of seven-day home quarantine for vaccinated arrivals in South Australia; medicare vaccination certificates available on apps like apple wallet   

B. Post vaccination phase (when 70 per cent are jabbed, expected late this year)

Lockdowns less likely but possible; vaccinated people face reduced restrictions; caps for unvaccinated arrivals increased; a larger cap for vaccinated arrivals with ‘reduced quarantine requirements’; capped entry for students and economic visa holders  

C. Consolidation phase (when 80 per cent are jabbed, time not announced)

Lifting all restrictions for outbound travel for vaccinated travellers; no caps for vaccinated arrivals; increased caps for students and visa holders; more travel bubbles being set up with countries such as Singapore; booster shots rolled out 

D. Final phase (percentage or time not announced)

Uncapped arrivals for vaccinated people without any quarantine and uncapped arrivals for unvaccinated people with testing before departure and on arrival 

 

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