NSW Premier to announce when lockdown ends tomorrow, as Sydney records 18 local COVID-19 cases

COVID-19

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian with Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Source: AAP/Joel Carrett.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian hopes to tell businesses on Wednesday whether Sydney’s coronavirus restrictions will ease from Friday, after the state recorded 18 new cases of COVID-19.

Berejiklian said in a press conference this morning that ongoing discussions with health officials should allow her to update residents and businesses about when restrictions will ease.

“We’ve been having various discussions with health experts and others in the last few days and that will continue throughout today and into the early evening,” she said.

“And I hope to communicate tomorrow about what next week will look like.”

NSW Health reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm Monday, including 11 in isolation, five in partial isolation, and two cases that were infectious within the community.

Berejiklian said the lockdown is having “its desired effect” but it’s “concerning” there were positive cases active in the community.

“Some cases are quite historic so people have been exposed in the community for a number of days, and that is not what we want to see,” she said.

More than 32,000 people received COVID-19 tests in the 24 hours. However, the Premier said she wants to see testing as high as 40,000 each day.

The two-week lockdown of Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong is set to end at 11:59pm Friday July 9. However, due to continued transmission of the more infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 it is unclear whether restrictions will ease as early as planned. 

Under the restrictions, businesses offering essential goods and services are allowed to open, while those offering non-essential goods and services are required to either close, open with only takeaway services, or offer delivery services.

Despite some retail businesses remaining open throughout the lockdown, mixed messages around whether residents are allowed to leave their home for non-essential shopping has led many businesses to close for two weeks.

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