Tweaks to existing restrictions
At a press conference, the Premier outlined some tweaks to current restrictions in the hope that these will help bring case numbers in the community down. These changes include:
- Non-essential workers in the local government areas of Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River in Sydney’s west and south will join those in Fairfield, Cumberland, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool and Blacktown in being unable to leave their local area for work
- Workers leaving Canterbury-Bankstown, south-west of Sydney’s CBD, for work will need to be tested every three days. This requirement has been eased in nearby Fairfield, where only aged care and healthcare workers need to be tested every three days. Aged care and healthcare workers in Cumberland will also need to be tested every three days.
- Construction will resume on Saturday, but not in the above eight local government areas of concern.
- Tradespeople, including domestic cleaners, who have zero contact with clients will be able to resume work.
- Year 12s will return to face-to-face learning on August 16, and a vaccination program will begin for students in the eight areas of concern, redirecting Pfizer vaccines from regional NSW. Rapid antigen testing will be used when students return. All other students will continue to learn from home.
- People in Greater Sydney may only shop within a 10km radius of their place of residence if the item is available locally.
- A singles bubble will be introduced for people who live alone.
Family visits discouraged
Appealing to Sydney residents to stay at home, both Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant have stressed that visiting family members outside of your household is discouraged. As the Premier said, “You think you might be doing the right thing and visiting a relative or household in your street you may have visited every day for all of your life [but] you need to stop that.”
Single bubbles introduced
Those in lockdown who live alone can now nominate a person who is allowed to come to their home. It’s not required that that person must also live alone, but it must be the same person for the entire four weeks. If you live outside the hotspot LGAs, your single buddy can not live inside them. If you live inside the hotspot LGAs, your single buddy must live within 10kms.
Focus on vaccination
Throughout these last few weeks of lockdown, the Premier has stressed the the key focus is on seeing active cases within the community decrease significantly. The state has long sought to reach zero, but have struggled to do this. Consequently, attention now turns to vaccination. AstraZeneca shots are now being administered to residents under 40-years-old, with the Premier saying shots had “gone through the roof” in recent days. All adults are strongly encouraged to receive the vaccine, whichever is available to them. “So, reducing infection in the community remains the goal…[but] we can’t open up and leave freely unless we have the number close to zero or unless we have high rates of vaccination.”
Boost to JobSaver program
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has promised his state will “come through stronger on the other side”, announcing additional relief for businesses affected by the lockdown extension currently affecting Sydney. Key changes include that JobSaver payments will now be available to businesses who have endured a revenue decline of 30 per cent with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $250 million, up from $50 million. The maximum weekly payment will also bee upped to $100,000 per week, up from $10,000 based on 40 per cent of business’s weekly payroll. The Prime Minister is also expected to announce additional federal relief this afternoon.