- Sydney's lockdown has been extended to11:59PM next Friday, 16 July
- Melbourne has eased restrictions, to be in line to regional Victoria
- Experts warn Sydney lockdown will cost over $2 billion in lost GDP
Earlier this morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a seven-day extension to the Greater Sydney lockdown, meaning the lockdown will now be extended until 11:59pm (midnight) on Friday, 16 July.
The news comes as 27 new local cases were recorded. According to NSW Health, only 13 of them were in isolation and 18 have so far been linked to a known case.
Concerningly, 14 of the 37 patients hospitalised with the Delta strain are under 55 with eight under 35. Two are currently in ICU on ventilators, as of this morning.
While acknowledging the decision was difficult, Ms Berejiklian said her first and foremost priority was to protect the community.
“We appreciate and understand the stress this means for individuals, for families, and, of course, for businesses. But what would be far worse is being in a situation where you have to live in and out of lockdown until that period of time when we have the vaccine available to us,” she said this morning.
When schools students in Sydney return on Tuesday, 13 July, learning will be online although schools will remain open for those who cannot learn online, such as children of essential workers.
Face-to-face learning, however, will resume in regional NSW schools.
Under the current rules in Greater Sydney, house inspections are only allowed by private appointment, one person at a time.
Restrictions relax in Victoria
From 11:59pm tomorrow night (8 July), restrictions in Melbourne will be aligned with regional Victoria. Masks will continue in indoor, public-facing settings unless exemptions apply. Notably, they will not be required at schools for students and staff or at workplaces if there is no interaction with the public – such as an office or factory.
The one person per two square metres that currently applies in regional Vicotria will now be applicable in Melbourne for a range of venues such as gyms, hospitality and community facilities.
For those who love to boogie, even dancefloors will be allowed providing there is a ‘Covid check-in marshall’ and a limit of 50 people on the dance floor at any time.
“Today’s changes show just how far we’ve come – thanks to the hard work of all Victorians we’re able to once again have the same settings in place for the whole state,” said Minister for Health Martin Foley.
“We’re seeing across the country just how fast-moving the Delta strain is – which is why we need to remain vigilant and follow the directions to protect the gains we’ve made.”
Martin Foley, Minister for Health
Auctions are permitted with a density quotient of 1 person per 2 square metres when using a check-in marshall, otherwise, the density quotient will be one person per 4 square metres. There is no patron cap. The same rules apply to inspections.
Sydney lockdown to cost over $2 billion… so far
The lockdown extension comes as a Finder survey revealed yesterday that just over half of experts predicted (correctly) the lockdown would be extended. On top of this, 73% believe the lockdown had wiped over $2 billion off Australia’s GDP. Given the extension, this figure is expected to rise.
“Positivity towards wage growth and employment are both surging, with wage-growth sentiment currently at the highest point since our survey began 38 months ago,” said Graham Cooke, head of consumer research at Finder.
“If the current lockdown in Sydney runs for the expected 14 days, it is unlikely to have much of a dampening effect on these figures.
“If, however, the outbreak is not contained and the lockdown continues for further weeks, we could very well see uncertainty return on these metrics.”
Graham Cooke, Finder head of consumer research