Canberra: As daily case numbers in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) continued to hover in triple digits, the state government announced on Wednesday a four-week extension to the lockdown on Greater Sydney and surrounding areas.
NSW recorded 177 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8:00 pm local time Tuesday, with only 47 of these confirmed to be isolated during their infectious period. The state also recorded its 11th death, a woman in her 90s who had not been vaccinated.
The extension came during Sydney’s fifth week of lockdown, which will now last until Aug. 28 at 12:01 a.m., for a total of 63 days.
Under new restrictions, residents in Greater Sydney and surrounding areas must limit their shopping to within their Local Government Area (LGA) or, if outside their LGA, within 10 km from home. Three LGA will join the five existing LGAs of concern with tightened restrictions where only authorized workers could leave local areas for work.
Constructions will reopen with conditions. All year 12 students who are preparing for the upcoming HSC, Australia’s college entrance exam, will return to face-to-face learning from Aug. 16 following a targeted vaccination program. The vaccination program will begin with students in Sydney’s worst-hit areas.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian laid out a raft of new measures to support people and businesses through the next month, including additional financial support to workers and businesses in conjunction with the federal government, the limited opening of construction, and an ambitious plan to vaccinate and return students preparing for their end of school exams to the classroom.
Meanwhile, on its first day out of lockdown, the Australian state of Victoria recorded eight locally acquired cases, all of which were quarantined throughout their infectious period.