BREAKING: Parts of northern NSW plunged into lockdown

Parts of the New South Wales Northern Rivers region have been plunged into a seven-day lockdown, but the Tweed has been spared for the time being.

The lockdown will come into effect from 6pm tonight in the Byron, Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley Shires.

It will run until 12.01am on Tuesday, August 17 and applies to anyone who has been in any of those regions since July 31.


ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT


The lockdown comes after a man from Sydney tested positive to COVID-19 in Byron Bay after being infectious in the community for five days.

The rules will be the same as stay-at-home orders currently in place in other areas of New South Wales.

“Everyone in these areas must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave. They also cannot have visitors in their home from outside their household, including family and friends,” NSW Health said in a statement.

“People can still have one visitor at one time to fulfil carers’ responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not live together.

“People also cannot enter the Byron Shire, Richmond Calley, Lismore and Ballina Shire Local Government areas without a reasonable excuse to do so.

“We understand this is a difficult time for the community and appreciate their ongoing patience and cooperation.”

The decision to impose stay-at-home orders in the region comes just hours after Lismore MP Janelle Saffin called for all of the Northern Rivers to be put into lockdown.

“It is clear to me that the Northern Rivers region needs to go into a short, sharp lockdown, and the sooner the better to get on top of a confirmed COVID-19 case notified overnight in the Byron area,” Ms Saffin said in a statement.

“With any lockdown, we expect the NSW government to immediately put in place the essential supports for the communities and businesses in all affected local government areas.

“I know that lockdowns hurt, but administrative delays hurt more.”

Investigations are continuing into why the man was in Byron, however, health officials have now confirmed the man was not on the Golf Coast prior to travelling to Byron Bay despite earlier reports.