Coronavirus Australia: Sydney lockdown to be extended until July 16 – schools closed, masks to stay

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Greater Sydney will remain in lockdown for at least another week as the worrying Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread across the city, forcing thousands to isolate.

With several worrying cases of community transmission in Sydney’s west reported late on Tuesday night, including in a busy Coles in Parramatta, health officials and policymakers made the call to keep the gruelling restrictions in place until July 16. 

The decision to extend stay-at-home orders and keep schools closed in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Shellharbour and Wollongong is set to be announced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday morning.

The harsh measures, originally brought in for a week on June 26, were enacted to confine the highly infectious Indian Delta strain to the epicentre in Sydney’s east.

But the strategy has failed to keep locally-acquired cases under control across Sydney, with 18 new infections on Tuesday bringing the city’s Bondi cluster to 225 cases – with over a hundred more that are yet to be linked. 

As part of the extended lockdown, face masks will remain mandatory, schools will be shut with at-home-learning replacing face-to-face classes and there are still only four lawful reasons to leave home.

Sydney and surrounding areas will remain in lockdown for at least another week as the city's rampant Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread throughout the western suburbs (pictured, Sydneysiders stroll around Bondi Beach during lockdown on Tuesday)

Sydney and surrounding areas will remain in lockdown for at least another week as the city’s rampant Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread throughout the western suburbs (pictured, Sydneysiders stroll around Bondi Beach during lockdown on Tuesday)

The situation is also worsening in Sydney's west, with customers of the Coles at Westfield Parramatta (pictured) and Country Growers grocery store told to isolate for 14 days regardless of whether they get a negative Covid test result

The situation is also worsening in Sydney’s west, with customers of the Coles at Westfield Parramatta (pictured) and Country Growers grocery store told to isolate for 14 days regardless of whether they get a negative Covid test result

USE DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA’S TRACKER TO FIND EXPOSURE SITES NEAR YOU 

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT LOCKDOWN EXTENSION 

– Stay-at-home orders will be extended to July 16

– Schools will be shut with at-home learning replacing face-to-face classes

– There will be no regional easing of restrictions

– Infections have spread from Sydney’s east to the wester suburbs, worrying contact tracers

In an unusual late-night drop of new Covid exposure sites, health chiefs revealed people had infected others at four venues across the city.

Of most concern to contact tracers is an infected Commonwealth Bank staff member who unwittingly spread the virus after working three shifts from June 28 to 30 at a branch in Roselands, Sydney’s southwest, forcing staff and customers into isolation.

NSW Health also confirmed that a positive case infected others at two supermarkets in Paramatta, in Sydney’s west.

Customers who attended Coles at Westfield Parramatta and Country Growers grocery store have been told to get tested immediately and self isolate for 14 days regardless of the result.

The same goes for a construction site in Toongabbie, where an infected tradie worked for five days from June 28 to July 2 before testing positive. 

All of the above four venues were visited by infected people, and were also the site of a spreading event. 

Speaking about the possibility lockdown would be extended earlier on Tuesday, Ms Berejiklian said the infectivity of the Indian Delta strain had dramatically altered the situation. 

‘The difference now to what occurred in the last year or so – since we had the only one other lockdown [the national lockdown in March 2020] – is the Delta strain,’ Ms Berejiklian said.

‘This strain is different to what we have experienced. If you look at other jurisdictions around the world, we can see that you can’t afford to let this get away from you.’

As part of the extended lockdown, schools will be shut with at-home-learning taking the place of face-to-face classes (pictured, parents collect children at St Charle's Primary School at Waverley in Sydney, June 22, after a child became infected with Covid-19)

As part of the extended lockdown, schools will be shut with at-home-learning taking the place of face-to-face classes (pictured, parents collect children at St Charle’s Primary School at Waverley in Sydney, June 22, after a child became infected with Covid-19)

The lockdown was brought in on June 26 to confine the highly infectious Indian Delta strain to the epicentre in Sydney's east (pictured, a woman goes for a jog during Sydney's lockdown in Bondi on Tuesday)

 The lockdown was brought in on June 26 to confine the highly infectious Indian Delta strain to the epicentre in Sydney’s east (pictured, a woman goes for a jog during Sydney’s lockdown in Bondi on Tuesday)

SYDNEY’S LOCKDOWN RULES UNTIL JULY 16

Those living in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong must abide by the following: 

Masks are mandatory in all indoor settings outside the home, including offices 

Weddings are banned and funerals are capped at 100 people – or 1 person per 4sqm – with masks required indoors 

There is no curfew but a stay at home order applies, with only four reasons to leave your home 

Schools will be closed with at-home-learning replacing face-to-face classes 

*The four reasons you can leave your home:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services
  • Medical care or compassionate needs (including to get a COVID-19 vaccine)
  • Exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home  

The rest of NSW (including regional areas) is subject to the following restrictions:

  • No more than five visitors (including children) allowed in homes
  • Masks are compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings
  • The four-square-metre rule is back for indoor and outdoor settings and drinking while standing at indoor venues is not allowed
  • Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs, but dancing is allowed at weddings for the wedding party (no more than 20 people)
  • Dance and gym classes are limited to 20 people per class and masks must be worn  

When does the lockdown end?  

  • Stay at home orders apply to Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour until 11.59pm on Friday, July 16, 2021

Other exposed sites announced on Tuesday include Coles in Hurtsville, McDonald’s at Bonnyrigg and Woolworths in Hillsdale.

Big W at Menai has also been exposed, as has Harris Farm in Bondi Beach.     

Authorities have linked all but two of the 18 new infections – nine of which are household contacts – to known cases. The new infections were reported from 32,136 tests.

There are now six patients in a hospital intensive care unit suffering from Covid-19 across NSW, two of whom are breathing through a ventilator. 

The ICU cases include one aged in their early 50s, one in their early 60s, three in their 70s and one in their 80s. 

Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) is set to officially announce on Wednesday morning that lockdown restrictions will be extended after several cases on community transmission occurred between strangers

Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) is set to officially announce on Wednesday morning that lockdown restrictions will be extended after several cases on community transmission occurred between strangers

Sydneysiders are pictured soaking up the sun on July 6 in Bondi despite being in lockdown - which will now continue until at least July 16

Sydneysiders are pictured soaking up the sun on July 6 in Bondi despite being in lockdown – which will now continue until at least July 16

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said one of the cases was a worker at the SummitCare Baulkham Hills aged care facility in the city’s north-west who worked throughout their infectious period.

That worker had only received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, health officials said.

Business leaders are meeting with the treasurer at 10am on Wednesday to work out how companies can help with the vaccine rollout, with some organisations already offering flu jabs to their employees.

Vaccination is becoming mandatory for those working in aged care and anywhere within the hotel quarantine program. 

There are now eight cases linked to the facility – including five residents and three aged care workers.

About 130 staff, and contracted cleaners, have been forced to quarantine for 14 days.  

A woman half wears her face mask to speak on her phone as she walks along a quiet Circular Quay in Sydney on Tuesday (pictured) - with masks mandatory indoors until at least July 16

A woman half wears her face mask to speak on her phone as she walks along a quiet Circular Quay in Sydney on Tuesday (pictured) – with masks mandatory indoors until at least July 16

Health workers dressed in protective gear collect patient information before conducting Covid-19 testing at the St Vincents Hospital drive-through testing clinic at Bondi on Tuesday

Health workers dressed in protective gear collect patient information before conducting Covid-19 testing at the St Vincents Hospital drive-through testing clinic at Bondi on Tuesday

Another case has been linked to an illegal party held at the Meriton Suites at Waterloo in the inner-city on June 26. The cluster of cases linked to the gathering has now reached 12 infections.

Dr Chant on Wednesday also called for higher rates of testing in Fairfield and Bossley Park after a series of infections in the western Sydney suburbs.

She said a positive case visited the Bossley Park club Marconi on Prairie Vale Road on Friday June 25 from 2pm to 8.30pm and Saturday June 26 from 10am to 6pm.

It comes as an unvaccinated student nurse tested positive to coronavirus earlier this week, sending about 400 healthcare workers in the state’s already stretched hospital system into isolation.   

An extension to stay-at-home orders means hospitals and aged care facilities will still be blocked from accepting any visitors.  

SYDNEY’S COVID EXPOSURE SITES REVEALED TUESDAY NIGHT

Anyone who visited the following venues – where an infected person has ALREADY spread the virus to others – are considered close contacts and should get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of result:

Roselands: Commonwealth Bank – Monday June 28, 8am – 5pm, Tuesday June 29, 8am – 5pm and Wednesday June 30, 8am to 3.30pm

Parramatta: Country Growers – Wednesday June 30, 5.35pm – 5.55pm

Parramatta: Coles – Wednesday June 30, 5.45pm – 6.05pm

Toongabbie: Construction site at 74 Aurelia St – Anytime from Monday June 28 – Friday July 2 

Anyone who visited the following venues are also considered close contacts and should get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of result:

Kirrawee: AJ & PM Sales, Kirrawee trade shop (ground floor) – Tuesday June 29, 12.50pm – 12.55pm

Bexley: St Mary & Mina Coptic Orthodox Cathedral – Friday June 25, 4pm – 6pm 

Anyone who visited the following venues are also considered casual contacts and should get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result:

Kirrawee: AJ & PM Sales, Kirrawee Lighting showroom floor (upstairs) – Tuesday June 29, 12.50pm – 12.55pm

Hurstville: Coles on Level 1 Westfield – Friday July 2, 1.30pm – 1.50pm

Wetherill Park: JD Sports – Monday July 5, 4.30pm – 5pm

Bonnyrigg: McDonald’s on Cnr of Elizabeth Drive and Smithfield Road – Monday July 5, 6.30pm – 7.30pm

Bonnyrigg: Woolworths – Monday July 5, 7.30pm – 8.30pm

Hillsdale: Woolworths in South Point Shopping Centre – Friday July 2, 3.15pm – 4.45pm

Riverwood: St. George Bank – Friday July 2, 1pm – 5pm

Menai: Big W – Sunday July 4, 1.15pm – 2pm

Hurstville: TG Farm Chickens – Friday July 2, 1.55pm – 2.05pm

Bondi Beach: Harris Farm – Saturday June 26, 3.20pm – 3.45pm

Anyone who attended the following venues at listed times should monitor for symptoms, and if they appear, immediately get tested and self-isolate until a negative result is received:

Hurstville: Westfield (everywhere other than TG Farm Chickens) – Saturday July 3, 1.30pm – 2.20pm 

Anyone who travelled on the following train route during listed times is a casual contact who must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received:

T1 North Shore Line; T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line: From Parramatta Station to Bondi Junction Station – Tuesday June 29, departed 1pm – arrived 1.55pm

T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line; T1 North Shore Line: From Bondi Junction Station to Parramatta Station – Tuesday June 29, departed 7pm – arrived 7.55pm 

 

 

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