Sydney’s lockdown is expected to be extended by four more weeks as NSW government authorities adjust coronavirus restrictions for construction and other sectors.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her crisis cabinet met on Tuesday to put together a roadmap out of the health emergency that has engulfed Sydney and surrounding regions since mid June.
The meeting was held on the worst day of the six-week crisis after the state hit a new daily record of 172 locally acquired infections. At least 79 of those people were circulating in the community for all or part of their infectious period.
Cabinet reportedly opted to extend the lockdown for four weeks – a blow for already struggling businesses.
That means the lockdown won’t end until August 28 – nine weeks after the city first entered the severe restrictions. It was due to end on Friday.
The crisis plan will tweak measures in the greatest areas of concern in Sydney’s southwest and western Sydney where infections are surging.
The premier has flagged restrictions could tighten in those areas, and ease in others that haven’t fared as badly.
Meanwhile, WA could keep hard borders in place for the foreseeable future despite other states emerging from coronavirus lockdowns.
WA’s borders are closed to residents of NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.
Victoria and SA emerged overnight from lockdowns, while Queensland residents have been free since earlier this month.
WA has typically required other states to go at least 14 days with no new community cases before loosening its border restrictions.
But, particularly with NSW recording 172 local cases on Tuesday, Health Minister Roger Cook indicated WA would be in no rush to open up to the eastern states.
“We will wait for the advice from the chief health officer,” he told reporters.
“Obviously the situation is still fairly fluid, particularly with the NSW circumstance, so I think we’ll be proceeding with a greater level of caution on this occasion.”