New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced Sydney’s lockdown will be expanded to cover the entire Greater Sydney area and it will be extended for a further week.
The decision follows a crisis meeting on Saturday afternoon.
It comes after New South Wales recorded 29 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, including 17 already announced on Friday.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
But of growing concern to officials is the ever-expanding list of exposure sites that have now spread to several other areas in the Sydney metropolitan area.
The lockdown will come into effect from 6pm Saturday night and cover all of Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, and Wollongong.
The original lockdown was due to end on July 2 but it will run until midnight on Friday, July 9.
“We’re never afraid to take a decision that we need to take to keep our citizens safe and even though we don’t want to impose burdens unless we absolutely have to. Unfortunately, this is a situation where we have to,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Residents will be required to stay at home except for a handful of reasons – exercise, essential shopping, essential work, medical appointments or to care for a loved one.
Weddings already planned for Saturday and Sunday can proceed but will not be allowed from Monday onwards.
Funerals can continue with a maximum of 100 people adhering to the one person per four square metre rule.
Restrictions are also being expanded to regional areas of the state not included in the lockdown.
All other areas of New South Wales will be limited to five visitors in their home, venues will be restricted to one person per four square metres and people must be seated in pubs, clubs, and restaurants.
Outdoor gatherings will be restricted to 50 per cent capacity and mask-wearing will be mandatory indoors.
Additionally, anyone in regional New South Wales who has been in Greater Sydney since June 21 must also abide by the same stay-at-home orders.
Ms Berejiklian says she remains hopeful the lockdown won’t have to be extended any further.
“There was no point doing it for three days or five days because it wouldn’t have done the job.
“The best health advice today is that it should be for two weeks, but if there is any massive improvement ahead of that time, of course, we’ll evaluate that.”