New lockdown measures have been introduced as the COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney worsens.
On Saturday afternoon, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced all of Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong, will go into lockdown with stay-at-home orders in place until midnight Friday, July 9.
The state reported 29 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday, 17 of which had been announced yesterday. The source of one case remains under investigation.
Sydney has been battling to contain a cluster of the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is up to twice as infectious as the original virus that arrived in Australia last year.
"Even though we don't want to impose burdens unless we absolutely have to, unfortunately, this is a situation where we have to," the Premier said during the press conference.
"I said that this the scariest time since the pandemic started and that's proven to be the case."
What areas are in lockdown?
The heightened restrictions come into effect at 6pm tonight (Saturday) and apply to:
- All of Greater Sydney
- The Blue Mountains
- The Central Coast
Anyone who has been in these areas since June 21 is also required to follow the stay-at-home orders for a period of 14 days after they left the region.
How long will the lockdown last?
The new restrictions will apply until midnight Friday, July 9. That's a one-week extension of the stay-at-home orders that are already in place in inner and eastern Sydney.
"Now, if after seven days there's a dramatic change in the trend, we'll obviously evaluate the situation," the Premier said.
"But at this stage, the best health advice we have is that a two-week period or until midnight on Friday, July 9, is necessary."