Australia Covid-19 disaster payment increases as Sydney's lockdown extends
Will this really be Australia's last lockdown? Only if we reach the 'magic number'
With half of Australia lockdown, almost a year and a half after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say it all comes down to one unanswered question.The cancellation was a huge blow to the small theatre's financial and artistic future, but was also "soul destroying for the young artists that were involved", executive director Katy Green Loughrey said.
New South Wales residents will have their financial support payments boosted as Sydney's lockdown is extended by another month.
The $600-per-week pandemic disaster payment will increase to $750 for people who lose more than 20 hours of work and from $375 to $450 for those who lose 8-20 hours.
So far 812,000 people have claimed the cash worth a total of $411million.
Strugglingbusinesses can apply for increased grants of up to $100,000 a week.
The JobSaver payments to companies which suffer a 30 per cent revenue reduction due to restrictions were previously capped at $10,000.
NSW COVID-19 financial support for those affected by lockdown — see if you are eligible
As the NSW COVID-19 lockdown continues into its third week, there is a range of government assistance available for individuals and businesses. See if you qualify for help.Any help from the government is welcomed by part-owner Naty Heng.
The maximum turnover threshold has also been increased from $50million to $250million to allow bigger companies to get the cash.
The expansion means some 460,000 companies employing 3.3million workers are expected to get the grants.
Businesses must not sack their staff or they will be disqualified.
For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will remain set at $1,000 per week.
The business grants will be worth 40 per cent of a company's weekly payroll, up to $100,000.
They will help cover unavoidable costs such as rent, insurance and maintenance as well as wages.
The NSW jobless rate was just 5.1 per cent in June but there are fears the lockdown will see the unemployment ranks swell.
Commonwealth Bank predicts about 300,000 jobs will be lost and NSW's unemployment rate will peak at 5.6 per cent in October before reducing to 5.2 per cent at the end of the year.
Calls for support as millions locked down
The Morrison government is facing calls to ramp up its coronavirus support measures with more than half the population in lockdown.The Morrison government is resisting pressure to reinstate JobKeeper wage subsidies with at least 13.5 million people under heavy restrictions across NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she had to fight for the funds, which will be paid for equally by the state and federal governments.
'We fought hard, we were listened to and that additional funding will be made available,' she said.
'We know these restrictions are tough but necessary to get the current situation under control and that is why we are coming to the table to help businesses and individuals with more financial support.'
The expanded payment will take effect from 18 July 2021, the start of the program. Businesses that have already submitted an application will not need to do anything, their payment will be automatically adjusted.
'These businesses are the ones we all need still standing to drive the recovery on the other side,' the Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
NSW's request to reinstate JobKeeper, the wage subsidy scheme which paid struggling companies $1,500 per worker per fortnight in 2020, was denied by the Commonwealth.
COVID's escape from Sydney is a nightmare scenario. Could a 'ring of steel' have stopped it?
COVID-19 has escaped from Sydney into regional centres. Catherine Taylor explores what went wrong and how rural communities will cope with Delta.It's a devastating blow, says Swift, who estimates 70 per cent of Printhie Wines' business has disappeared in the past month as COVID-19 first locked out tourists from Sydney and this week shut down to all customers after two removalists and a truck driver carried COVID-19's Delta variant into the region.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the federal government's $600 per week pandemic disaster payment was faster than JobKeeper and better targeted to people who need it.
'The payments are being made in about 40 minutes,' he said.
'They are also targeted because they are based on the number of hours lost rather than the turnover reduction of the business that you work for.
'Also, the net has been cast wider with all casuals being eligible for these payments,' he said.
The payments of $600 a week for people who lose more than 20 hours and $375 for people who lose 8-20 hours will continue as long as lockdowns last, the government has said.
Mr Fyrdenberg said JobKeeper was a national scheme set up in early 2020 when the unemployment rate was expected to skyrocket to 15 per cent.
It required companies to take out loans from banks, pay their workers and then get re-reimbursed by the government weeks later.
By contrast, the pandemic disaster payment goes straight into the workers' bank accounts.
How to claim the $600 lockdown payment if you lose work
Australians who lose more than 20 hours of work a week can claim a $600 disaster payment from the federal government, and those who lose less than 20 hours can claim $375.
As the pandemic wears on, some Americans could need booster shots
Some health officials now think a third shot could help older and immunocompromised people. Israel is already offering a third Pfizer shot for immunocompromised residents — though millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have yet to be vaccinated — and Pfizer has previously suggested that a booster shot could be needed in the US. Regulatory questions abound Though the US currently has tens of millions of surplus Covid-19 vaccine doses on hand, making a third Pfizer or Moderna shot available to millions of immunocompromised or elderly Americans likely won’t be a quick process.
To claim the cash you'll need a Centrelink online account linked to your myGov. It's easy to set these up.
Once you're logged in, you will be asked a few questions about your situation to see if you're eligible.
Officials need to know if you lived or worked in a Covid-19 hotspot that's under lockdown or restricted movement.
Once you've completed your claim, hit submit and officials will process it for you.
You don't need to call them, they'll send you an SMS when you successfully submit your claim.
If you are eligible, officials will make a payment into your bank account and send you a letter with the details.
For more information click
Premier Berejiklian announced the lockdown extension on Wednesday morning as she announced another 177 cases of the virus had been recorded in the state overnight.
She said 46 of those cases were infectious in the community.
Health officials found 90 infections in south-west Sydney and 46 cases in the city's west in the 24 hours to 8pm.
NSW Health also confirmed the death of a woman in her 90s at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney's south-west; there are now 11 fatalities across the state linked to the latest outbreak of the Delta variant.
Five million residents in Greater Sydney - including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour - have spent nearly five weeks under strict home orders in a desperate attempt to slow the rate of transmission in the city.
National cabinet to plot path out of lockdown, payments return to original JobKeeper levels
The country's leaders on Friday will look at how many Australians must be vaccinated in order to end lockdowns, while income support has returned to the level of the original JobKeeper scheme.National cabinet will start creating the path out of lockdowns on Friday when the country's leaders look at how many Australians must be vaccinated in order to end economically damaging restrictions.
The new extension will expire on Saturday, August 28 at 12.01am.
Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday announced she was also ring-fencing three more local government areas - Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River - from 11.59pm on Wednesday night in an attempt to contain the virus' spread.
Only essential workers who have a valid exemption will be allowed to leave those LGAs for work. More than two million Sydneysiders living across 94 suburbs in eight government areas are now subject to the tightened travel restrictions.
The state leader said an extended lockdown was the 'obvious' solution given the number of community cases was still increasing.
'It was fairly obvious, given the way the numbers were going in the last few days, it would have not been possible for us to get out of lockdown tomorrow or Friday,' she said.
All Greater Sydneysiders have meanwhile been told they can now only travel 10km for essential shopping if what they need to buy is available locally.
Construction sites will be allowed to re-open with enhanced Covid-safe protocols from July 31 after a two-week shutdown.
From August 16, Year 12 students will return to face-to-face learning and those going into the classroom will use rapid antigen testing to monitor for coronavirus transmission.
ALL THE CHANGES TO GREATER SYDNEY'S LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS
From 11.59pm on Wednesday July 28:
Greater Sydney residents including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour must limit essential shopping trips to within 10km of their homes.
Non-essential workers living in the Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River LGAs cannot leave their area for work.
The same rules already applied for residents in Fairfield, Cumberland, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool and Blacktown.
Essential workers leaving Canterbury-Bankstown will need to be tested every three days.
In Fairfield and Cumberland, only aged care and healthcare workers must be tested every three days.
From 12.01am on Saturday, July 31:
Construction sites can reopen outside the eight LGAs under tighter restrictions.
A singles bubble will be opened - allowing couples to visit each other's homes.
Tradesmen can resume work as long as they do not come into contact with residents. That work will also be banned in the eight LGAs of concern.
Queensland businesses given $5000 lockdown lifeline .
Queensland businesses struggling under the state's recent lockdown have been handed potential financial support lifeline from the state government in the form of $5000 lockdown grants. Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick today announced the $260 million support package that will be open to all businesses in the state regardless of whether they're in a lockdown location.Mr Dick said while the grants were aimed primarily at small and medium-sized Queensland businesses, large hospitality and tourism companies had also felt COVID-19's effect.