Stay-at-home orders for Greater Sydneysiders will be extended by one week, putting all post-school holiday jaunts on hold for the region.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced this morning that lockdown restrictions for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Shellharbour, Wollongong and the Central Coast would extend until midnight next Friday, adding that schools will not be open as expected following the holiday period.
Stay-at-home orders have been in place for four local government areas in Sydney for 12 days now, with all of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Shellharbour, Wollongong and the Central Coast added to the list just days later.
The two-week lockdown period was set to lift at midnight this Friday.
Berejiklian said the state recorded 27 new local cases this morning, but only 13 of those cases were already in isolation, adding that those were the important numbers when determining the length of a lockdown.
She said the reasoning behind the extension was to stop the spread of the highly contagious Delta strain of COVID-19.
“It is extremely transmissible and more contagious than any other virus — form of the virus that we’ve seen.
“The reason why the NSW government has taken this position is because we don’t want to be in a situation where we are constantly having to move between lockdown, no lockdown, lockdown, no lockdown.
“What we want to do is give us our best chance of making sure this is the only lockdown we have until the vast majority of our citizens are vaccinated.”
This comes following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new roadmap ‘out of COVID-19’ that would introduce more relaxed restrictions on international travel for vaccinated Australians, ranging from a shorter quarantine period to unrestricted overseas travel.
Under the plan, international travel would be back on the cards for fully vaccinated people once a certain portion of the population has received the required doses of the jab, which the PM said would be available to all Australians by the end of the year.
Berejiklian reiterated the importance of following the lockdown rules during this “critical period”
“Here in New South Wales, to date, we’ve weathered the storm reasonably well,” she said.
“We are entering a critical period and I appreciate many people will have an opinion on what the government is or isn’t doing and what we should be doing, but I know that we have the best health experts on the planet, and I don’t say that lightly or in a biased way.
“And if we all follow the advice — and this is the point I really want to get across — if we follow the advice, we will all be OK.”