NSW will be put into a statewide lockdown from 5pm today amid concerns the COVID-19 cluster in wester NSW is getting out of control.
NSW Health is expected to make a formal announcement within the hour but multiple MPs have posted messages on their Facebook accounts confirming residents' fears.
To minimise movement and protect our communities from the evolving COVID situation in Sydney, stay-at-home orders will be introduced for all of regional NSW from 5pm Saturday.
It is understood the lockdown will be at least seven days.
One MP has said NSW Health considered restricting the lockdown to western NSW local government areas before deciding to extend it across the state.
"To minimise movement and protect regional communities ALL of Regional NSW will go into a lockdown from 5pm tonight," deputy Premier John Barilaro tweeted.
The reasons you may leave your home
- Shopping for food or other essential goods and services.
- Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact).
- Exercise outdoors in groups of two or fewer (unless members of the same household).
- Every employer across NSW must require their employees to work from home unless it is not reasonably practicable.
Schooling will be done from home in most cases.
Masks must be worn indoors (not including the home) and in outdoor settings where you cannot socially distance from others. Anyone who leaves their home must carry a mask with them at all times.
Pubs, restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues
All hospitality venues must be CLOSED to the public, including pubs, restaurants and cafes, except for takeaway.
Retail premises are required to close, except for:
- supermarkets and grocery shops,
- shops that predominantly sell food or drinks eg butchers, bakeries, fruit shops and delicatessens, but does not include restaurants or cafes.
- chemists and pharmacies,
- shops that predominately sell office supplies, pet supplies, newspapers, magazines and stationery, alcohol, maternity and baby supplies, medical or pharmaceutical supplies
- food and drink premises, but only to sell takeaway
- cellar door premises, but only to sell takeaway
- hardware and building supplies
- landscaping material supplies
- rural supplies
- timber yards
- garden centres and plant nurseries,
- vehicle hire premises, not including the premises at which vehicles are sold,
- shops that predominately carry out mobile phone repairs.
Service stations, banks, post offices, laundromats and drycleaners can remain open.
Weddings and funerals
There will be a one-day 'grace period' for planned weddings and funerals in the regional areas that have not already been subject to a lockdown. Those events may go ahead until 12.01am on Monday 16 August 2021, but only with guests from areas that have not already been subject to a lockdown.
From Monday, small funerals and memorial services of 10 persons only (excluding the persons conducting the service) will be permitted.
This follows on from NSW recording 466 new local cases and four deaths overnight.
The four deaths were a woman in her 40s, a man in his 70s, a woman in her 70s, and a man in his 80s.
This brings the number of coronavirus-related deaths to 43 during the current outbreak, with NSW recording 99 overall.
Increased fines for Public Health Order breaches
Under the changes, there will be increased fines for Public Health Order breaches, a permit system to enter regional NSW and tightened rules for people in LGAs of concern to help reduce the spread of the Delta variant.
Increased fines for Public Health Order breaches (from 12.01am, Monday, 16 August):
- $5,000 on the spot fine for breaching self-isolation rules;
- $5,000 on the spot fine for lying on a permit (already a criminal offence);
- $5,000 on the spot fine for lying to a contact tracer (already a criminal offence);
- $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching the two person outdoor exercise/recreation rule; and
- $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching rules around entry into regional NSW for authorised work, inspecting real estate and travelling to your second home.
Permit system to enter regional NSW (from 12.01am, Saturday, 21 August):
- Any person who wishes to travel to regional NSW for one of the following reasons must have a permit which will be made available on Service NSW:
- authorised workers from LGAs of concern
- inspecting real estate. Any person inspecting real estate in the regions must now genuinely need a home to live in (no investment properties); and
- travelling to your second home. This is now only allowed if you are using the home for work accommodation or if the home requires urgent maintenance and repairs (if so, only one person may travel there).
COVID test payment
Eligible workers aged 17 and over who live in the LGAs of concern, who have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested and isolate until a negative result is returned, will be eligible for one $320 payment in a four week period for lost wages.
The 'COVID-19 Test and Isolate Support Payments' start next week and will help cover lost wages of casual workers but also those who may have exhausted their sick leave or carer's leave to isolate at home.