New South Wales residents are waking up to the news Greater Sydney’s lockdown will be extended for another four weeks until at least August 27….
New South Wales residents are waking up to the news Greater Sydney’s lockdown will be extended for another four weeks until at least August 27.
NSW’s residents are anxiously waiting for official confirmation that the Greater Sydney lockdown will be extended for another month, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian expected to front the media at 11am.
The lockdown was due to end at 11.59pm on Friday but a lockdown announcement has been expected for days due to the continual rise in Covid-19 cases.
The state’s crisis cabinet met on Tuesday night to finalise the next steps for NSW, with media reports emerging overnight that officials had agreed on a four week extension of the current lockdown.
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Since then even more details have been leaked, with The Australian reporting new rules will also be announced that will come into force from Friday, including the recommencement of construction and the possibility of introducing rapid antigen testing for essential workers.
It is also believed that a “singles bubble” could be on the cards to allow those who live alone to socialise with one other person of their choice.
Greater Sydney has been in lockdown for more than a month, yet the state still recorded it’s highest number of new Covid-19 cases linked to the outbreak yesterday, with 172 new infections announced.
The death toll stands at 10 and there have been a total of 2397 cases linked to the latest cluster.
Ms Berejiklian has repeatedly said the lockdown will not be lifted until the number of people infectious in the community gets as close to zero as possible.
Yesterday, the Premier said she was hoping to announce some changes to the lockdown rules “as early as” Wednesday.
“I know it’s really difficult not to speculate, but … I’m hoping to make those announcements as early as tomorrow, to give people plenty of notice,” she said.
Despite it seemingly blatantly clear that the lockdown won’t be able to be lifted by the end of the week, Ms Berejiklian refused to speculate on whether an extension was on the cards.
“I would much rather have a definite position, rather than speculate,” she said.
“We’ve put in the hard yards of five weeks and we don’t want to waste all that great work we’ve done by opening too soon.”
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PM expected to announce more support for NSW
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to announce further financial support for NSW residents today as they prepare for another month in lockdown.
There have been repeated calls by NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, unions and business groups for the federal government to reinstate Jobkeeper to help those in lockdown.
Federal finance minister Simon Birmingham this morning knocked back these calls but did hint that more support was on the way, just not in the form of Jobkeeper.
“We have, over recent days in particular, been looking at what else may be necessary as a result of the decisions we expect NSW would have to make,” Mr Birmingham told ABC News Breakfast.
“The PM will have more to say on that later today. They’re the types of things he was outlining to the NSW government last night.”
The promise of more support comes after the eye-watering cost of a four-week lockdown extension was revealed, with the move expected to cost the federal government a staggering $2 billion.
Mr Birmingham revealed the sunning figure on Sunrise this morning, saying $500m was flowing into NSW households every week as the covid crisis continued.
“We will work very hard to avoid that (another recession),” he told the program.
“We know these are tough times for Sydney businesses and households and many people across Sydney.
“Right now we have economic support to the tune of $500m per week flowing into NSW.”