“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 tonight,” NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro announced on Twitter.
“Reasonable excuses to leave your home include shopping for essentials, medical care, caregiving, outdoor exercise with a member of your household or one other person, and work, if you cannot work from home. Schooling will be conducted from home,” he added.
Reasonable excuses to leave your home include shopping for essentials, medical care, caregiving, outdoor exercise with a member of your household or one other person, and work, if you cannot work from home.
Schooling will be conducted from home. https://t.co/Hp28Nqerni
— John Barilaro MP (@JohnBarilaroMP) August 14, 2021
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian issued an announcement on Twitter about the lockdown just over an hour before it took effect.
“Following the press conference today, I received health advice concerning multiple regional NSW areas. As such, from 5pm tonight, all of regional NSW will go into a seven-day lockdown. This means the whole state is in strict lockdown,” she said.
This comes as NSW records its highest daily numbers of COVID-19 cases yet, totalling more than 2,000 new cases in a week.
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 COVID-related deaths to 43 during the current outbreak, with NSW recording 99 overall.
Further restrictions are being imposed in Sydney, with Berejiklian earlier in the day at a press conference describing the situation as “extremely concerning.”
She told reporters on Saturday morning that travel restrictions would be tightened in Greater Sydney effective from Monday.
“You can do activity within your local government area but instead of 10km from your home, it will be 5km from your home and that’s for all of greater Sydney,” she said.
There will be a larger police presence out in force, with larger fines of $5,000 authorised for people breaching public health orders.
An extra 500 army personnel will be deployed on top of the 300 already assisting police in the state.
Also from next week, people in greater Sydney will need a permit to travel to regional NSW while single people in affected LGAs will need to register their “single buddies.”
The NSW government has also tightened its definition of exercise, with the premier saying people had to be actively exercising or supervising children.
“Exercise means exercise, many people know that but unfortunately, some people were trying to get around the rules imposed,” she said.
The biggest increases in case numbers in western Sydney were in Blacktown, Doonside, Mount Druitt, Maryland, Guildford and Auburn, the Premier said.
Of the new local cases, 121 are linked to known outbreaks and 345 are under investigation, while 87 people were in the community for all or part of the time they were infectious.
The isolation status of 303 people is also under investigation.
The Australian Associated Press contributed to this report