The NSW government has announced that the NSW lockdown will be extended by four weeks and will not end until at least August 28.
A joint media release by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard has stressed that the lockdown is being extended due to low vaccination rates.
“Premier Gladys Berejiklian said higher vaccination rates and following the health orders are the only way to guarantee further easing of restrictions.”
Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, and Woolongong remain under strict stay-at-home orders.
Residents may only leave their homes to seek a Covid test, attend a vaccine appointment, essential work, medical care, exercise within 5km of their homes, or shop for food (one person per household).
A single bubble will be introduced which allows residents who live alone to nominate one person to visit them. This comes after concerns were raised that people who live alone have been trapped essentially in isolation for over a month.
Masks remain mandatory for all non-residential indoor settings including public transport.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has made it clear that the lockdown will remain in place until Covid cases are as close to zero as possible. There is also extra pressure being placed on the vaccine roll-out, with residents told that these tough measures will remain in place until vaccination figures rise significantly.
“Given low vaccination rates, the current stay at home orders will remain in place for another four weeks. […] The extra time will allow NSW residents to significantly increase the uptake of vaccines in areas most affected by the current outbreak across the state.”
So far, the Sydney lockdown has done little to stop transmission, with cases continuing to rise in their hundreds every day. 177 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.
The Delta variant is widely reported to be more transmissible.
One woman in her 90s died in Liverpool hospital.
The government has been pushing uptake of its AstraZeneca stockpile, including encouraging people under 40. This is despite international health advice suggesting that younger people should take Pfizer instead to avoid the risk of blood clots.
Vaccine coercion is on the rise, with Australians warned that they could be banned from attending concerts, festivals, and AFL games if they do not present proof of vaccination.
“Vaccine passports need to happen,” said Michael Chugg.
A ‘no jab, no entry’ policy is being considered, despite it appearing to violate both medical privacy laws and anti-discrimination practises.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems to approve of the idea with his digital vaccine certificate currently in progress. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has also voiced his support for vaccine passports, praising moves to ban un-vaccinated sports fans.
Objection to mandatory vaccines and vaccine passports have sparked major anti-government rallies across the world.