25th June, 2021
Non-essential businesses across four local Government areas within New South Wales will be required to shut their doors for a week as the nation’s most populous city goes into lockdown.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has given ‘stay at home’ orders to more than one million residents within four local government areas (LGAs) of the Greater Sydney area, including Woollahra, Waverly, Randwick, and City of Sydney.
As of 11:59pm on 25 June, people residing in these LGAs will only be allowed to leave home for essential purposes, including shopping for essential needs, for compassionate or medical reasons, outdoor exercise, and essential work or education, wherever it is impossible do so at home.
UPDATE: Since this article was written, the NSW lockdown has been extended to include all of Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, with residents only allowed to leave home to shop for essential items, exercise, or for care and compassionate reasons. Work or education that can not be performed at home is also exempt. These rules came into effect at 6pm on Saturday 26 June and are currently scheduled to continue until 11.59pm, Friday 9 July.
According to Berejiklian, the one-week lockdown is being implemented to prevent the need for more drastic and lengthier measures to be taken.
“Please know that this is in order for us to ensure that this doesn’t take a hold for weeks and weeks and we believe this is a proportionate response to the risk,” she said.
As a result of the stay-at-home orders, Berejiklian explained that many businesses operating within the outlined LGAs will be required to shut their doors for the duration of the entire week.
“Unfortunately, unless you’re providing essential food and services — that is takeaway food and services or grocery services of that nature — we don’t expect those businesses to remain open in the next week,” she said.
In addition to those who reside in the four LGAs, the Premier also announced that these stay-at-home orders apply to people who have worked in those areas over the last 14 days, irrespective of where they live.
As a result of the growing concern about the New South Wale’s outbreak, existing indoor and public transport mask-wearing rules for the entire state have also been extended until 2 July, and residents of Greater Sydney have been encouraged to limit all non-essential activities over the coming seven-day period.
NSW Police deputy commissioner confirmed that the Police Force will be handing out on-the-spot fines of up to $200 for a lack of mask compliance, and up to $1,000 for those breaching public health advice.
The deputy commissioner also said that police officers will be “stopping cars” and asking people to “produce licenses” to see if they are from the lockdown zone.
“Where there’s a need to take action, police will,” he said.
Despite the increase in police activity, the deputy commissioner confirmed that a ring of steel separating the four LGAs with the rest of New South Whales will not be put up.
It’s expected more cases linked to the existing New South Wales outbreak will continue to surface in the coming days, leaving the potential for the lockdown conditions to be expanded or extended as recommended by the state health authorities.
Across the border, Victorian health authorities announced earlier today that two positive cases of the Delta strain were detected overnight, both of which were identified to be directly linked to the Bondi cluster, which has now grown to 65 cases.