NSW Covid update: central and eastern Sydney plunged into Covid lockdown after 22 cases recorded

·5 min read
<span>Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Four local government areas in Sydney have been put into lockdown for at least a week, as the state recorded another 22 cases on Friday.

Residents who live or work in Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and the City of Sydney have been issued stay-at-home orders from 11.59pm on Friday, and can leave only if work or education is impossible at home, for exercise outside and to provide care for a relative.

The orders apply to anyone who has worked in the four LGAs “either part-time or permanently” in the past fortnight.

The New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, said she appreciated the lockdowns would significantly affect businesses and lives, but it was the “proportionate” response.

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“The advice from Health is that we don’t want to see this situation linger for weeks. We would like to see this situation end sooner rather than later.

“Unfortunately, unless you’re providing essential food and services – that is, takeaway food and services or grocery services of that nature – we don’t expect those businesses to remain open in the next week,” she said.

All non-essential businesses in the four listed LGAs, which include the CBD, must shut down.

Nightclubs and gyms will also be closed, with exercise limited to groups of 10 outdoors. Intimate partner visits will also be allowed.

All other restrictions in greater Sydney and Wollongong have been extended until midnight on Friday 2 July.

There are now 65 cases linked to the Bondi cluster, with all of the new cases, bar one, linked to previous infections.

The chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said that the state was expecting a “large number of cases” in the coming days.

Chant said investigations found three staff members at the Joh Bailey hairdressing in Double Bay had been working while infectious, with two cases identified among clients so far.

“So just to be clear, we’ve found the link that explains those unlinked cases. That person was infectious in the community on June 15 and 16.

“But that then led to a number of seeding events and then we have seen workplace transmission at Joh Bailey. And what we’re concerned is the over 900 clients that attended, or potentially are contacts, may acquire the infection.”

Chant also raised concerns around a positive case in a person who attended two gyms while infectious – Fitness First Platinum in Bondi Junction on 21 June and Fitness First Bondi Junction Spring Street on 22 June.

The case of a nine-year-old child at the St Charles’ Catholic primary school in Waverley remains the only unlinked case.

Seventeen cases have now been linked to a party in West Hoxton, and four cases to the Life Cafe in Bondi Junction.

The health minister, Brad Hazzard, said guidelines for airport transport staff would be strengthened, as the origin of the outbreak was linked to a limousine driver transporting aircrew, but pointed the finger at individuals who had not complied with the existing guidelines.

“It would appear that there may be a small number of people who don’t comply with the expectations. The guidelines are there with the public health orders. That’s disappointing.

“We’re stepping up the guidelines on mask wearing for those drivers of people coming in from international flights – whether they’re passenger flights or whether they’re cargo flights, they are crews involved with the transportation of passengers in some cases.”

Victoria recorded two new locally acquired cases overnight, one man whose case was reported on Thursday, who had travelled to Sydney when it was classified as a “green zone”, and a work colleague of the man.

Victoria’s health minister, Martin Foley, said the two new cases worked at the Sandringham Dry Cleaners.

“What these cases and the settings that they visit highlight is exactly why Victoria has in place the high level of public health measures to protect us from precisely this risk,” Foley said.

“It moves faster, it’s more infectious and it knows no boundaries if it’s given the chance.”

All of greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour are now classified as “red zones”, he said, meaning people who have been there in the past 14 days are not permitted to travel to Victoria.

Related: NSW Nationals: should the party have hosted a dinner for up to 70 people during Sydney’s Covid outbreak?

Anyone who has arrived in Victoria from those regions since 11 June must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Foley said three arrivals from NSW had been turned away, and urged Victorians not to travel to NSW.

“We make no apologies for prioritising the safety of the Victorian community above travellers who come from New South Wales.

“This is obviously going to throw a lot of travel plans into disarray as we head towards the school holidays as of this afternoon. People may have wanted to go to Sydney, but the message is: do not travel to a red zone in New South Wales, you may not be able to return home.”

Queensland also recorded two locally acquired cases, both reported on Thursday night but included in Friday’s numbers.

Both new cases were in quarantine during their infectious period, with chief health officer Jeannette Young saying they were “not a risk” to the community.

“Our contact tracers are really good at this now.

“They immediately, last Sunday, got hold of all these people and asked them all to go into quarantine in their homes or into a hotel, depending which group they were.”

The cases were linked to a flight attendant from Portugal who tested positive, bringing that cluster to seven.

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