Australia NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expecting COVID-19 case numbers to rise further. What does this mean for the lockdown?
NSW reaches halfway point of lockdown
NSW has recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in a day since the first wave in 2020, with concerns growing that lockdown could be extended.But only a third of the new cases were in isolation for the entirety of their illness, prompting concerns the lockdown rules imposed on Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains and Wollongong will be extended beyond July 9.
New South Wales has recorded 77 new COVID-19 cases and one death, and the Premier doesn't expect the numbers to fall anytime soon.
On Sunday morning, Gladys Berejiklian said she expected many more cases over the coming days.
"I'm anticipating the numbers in New South Wales will be greater than 100 tomorrow," she said.
Three Sydney aged care residents among 16 new local cases of COVID-19
The number of COVID-19 exposure sites in Sydney surpassed 300, as supermarkets, cafes, and train routes were added to NSW Health's venue list.It brings the tally for the present outbreak to 277 cases.
"I'll be shocked if it's less than 100 this time tomorrow."
So what does this mean for Greater Sydney's lockdown, which is meant to end on Friday?
Here's what we know so far.
What's the latest on the outbreak?
New South Wales recorded 77 new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8:00pm on Saturday and its first death since December.
Thirty-three of these cases have been out in the community while infectious.
Greater Sydney — including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour — have been in lockdown since the end of June.
The lockdown was due to end at midnight next Friday, July 16.
Although, like the Premier, Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said she expected there to be an increase in cases in the coming days, making it unlikely the lockdown would be lifted.
New South Wales records 38 new Covid cases
New South Wales has recorded 38 new local cases of Covid-19 overnight - including 21 infections in Sydney's south-west.Premier Gladys Berejiklian said only 18 of the new infections had been in self-isolation for the entire time they were infectious - with 11 out in the community 'for a number of days'.
"The numbers might actually increase because we're ramping up testing to get ahead of the transmission curve," Ms Chant said.
"Rather than having cases sit out there that are just becoming positive, we want to get them at the earlier time, because if we can get them just when they're becoming positive, they're less infectious."
When will we know if lockdown is being extended?
While the NSW Government hasn't directly said Friday's lockdown date will be extended, it has said it's likely.
"Given where we're at and given the lockdown was supposed to be lifted on Friday, everybody can tell it's highly unlikely at this stage," Ms Berejiklian said.
Later this week the Premier is expected to update the members of the public on whether they'll be in isolation for longer.
Ms Berejiklian said an extension would depend on the health advice.
Everything you need to know about Sydney's new Covid restrictions
Additional stay-at-home restrictions have been announced for NSW residents on Friday as Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced 44 new cases in the state.An anxious Ms Berejiklian said the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus left her no choice but to expand restrictions for those in lockdown.
"As soon as we have health advice that gives us information on where the numbers are tracking and what we think the future looks like, we'll convey that," she said.
Ms Chant said she would expect the impact of the lockdown to be seen in the next few days.
"We're still identifying unrecognised cases within households in south-western Sydney," she said.
"I think it's going to be a number of days before we turn around."
What are the lockdown rules?
Health authorities hope the lockdown will stop further community transmission by limiting peoples' movements.
Ms Chant said the lockdown could be lifted if people complied with the stay-at-home order.
"If you're diagnosed with COVID and our public health contact tracers interview you, there should be no contact," she said.
"You should have basically hardly been out of the house, hardly been in contact with anyone else, and therefore we have confidence that the chain of transmission is really broken."
Cash for Sydney businesses after NSW weighed up its own JobKeeper
NSW businesses will be given a cash flow boost to help them survive the Sydney lockdown.The grants will be announced as early as Tuesday after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a cash flow boost for businesses last year had been "one of the most effective measures" of economic support in the pandemic.
The Premier pointed out the majority of new cases were in south-western Sydney, with the virus being transmitted from household to household.
NSW Health's advice is people should not visit another household unless it is for an essential service such as work, emergencies, childcare or to help someone move.
It says people must have proof of their address on them at all times when they leave their house.
Funerals and memorial services have been capped at a maximum of 10 people.
From Tuesday, people must wear a fitted mask in indoor common areas of residential buildings.
Teachers and students have been doing at-home learning. The Premier said that could be extended depending on how cases tracked.
Health authorities have also asked employees working across multiple sites to get tested for the virus.
"Whether you're an electrician or fixing essential services for people within homes or sites, we recommend strongly that you get tested immediately before you continue working," Ms Berejiklian said.
More details on the restrictions can be found on the NSW Health website
Is there help for businesses affected by the lockdown?
The NSW Premier and Treasurera support package for small businesses at the end of June.
Today Ms Berejiklian said the grants would be available from July 19 through Service New South Wales.
The grants include between $5,000 and $10,000 for small businesses, payroll tax deferrals for all employers, and an extension of the Dine and Discover program to the end of August.
Hotels and clubs will also be given a reprieve, with optional deferral of gaming machine taxes.
The Premier also said she was working with her federal counterparts on further support.
NSW records 98 new COVID-19 cases .
Two thirds of the state's new cases have been recorded in south-west Sydney while there's been a slight decrease in the number of people infectious in the community.Twenty people had been infectious while out and about, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, while defending the decision to stop a variety of sectors, including construction, working for at least two weeks.