Destinations

Experts warn of yet another Sydney lockdown extension, as Tasmania reopens to Victoria and SA

Two experts have warned Greater Sydneysiders that the NSW government is likely to extend the region’s lockdown right into September.

The separate warnings come following the state government’s decision to prolong stay-at-home orders by four weeks until at least 28 August, due to low COVID-19 vaccination rates across NSW and daily case numbers still well and truly hitting triple figures.

However, Professor Adrian Esterman, who works at the University of South Australia as an epidemiologist, told ABC News that NSW’s vaccination target of 10 million doses (or 80 per cent of the adult population) and the number of infectious people in the community (which has been steadily growing) will delay the state’s plan to end lockdown in late August.

“Unfortunately, no matter what target NSW sets, the lockdown is likely to go well into September,” Professor Esterman said.

And, despite growing vaccination rates and improved compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, another expert has warned these positive statistics won’t go far enough to get Greater Sydney out of lockdown on time.

Modelling by the University of Sydney shows that while compliance with the current restrictions has improved from 40 per cent to 60 per cent, it needs to be a lot higher in order to combat the current outbreak.

And, according to the data, the outbreak hasn’t even peaked yet.

Mikhail Prokopenko, director of the University of Sydney’s Centre for Complex Systems, told ABC News: “I’m not saying [vaccination is] not doing a good job, but realistically we’ll be there until September, if not longer.

“To adequately suppress the outbreak, 70 to 80 per cent of residents in Greater Sydney must comply with social distancing. However, we are just not seeing those numbers yet.”

On a more positive note, the Tasmanian government has reopened its border to travellers from Victoria and South Australia.

It means that people are once again able to enter Tasmania from either state, provided they have not been at high-risk premises in the past 14 days.


Featured image source: iStock/dubdub


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