Hundreds of thousands of Sydney residents will have strict new restrictions imposed on them, as health authorities race to prevent the Delta strain from getting any further out of hand.
The state recorded its biggest daily case numbers since the pandemic began on Thursday, with 239 cases detected.
As a result, residents in Fairfield, Liverpool, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta, Georges River and Campbelltown must now wear a mask any time they step outside their home, and must now stay within a 5km radius.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that applies for shopping, exercise, and anyone who has formed a singles bubble.
The same rules apply to anyone who is an essential worker in one of those LGAs who resides in a different part of the city, meaning they will take the restrictions home with them.
Ms Berejiklian said while at the moment there were eight local government areas of concern, more may be added and some taken off the list as the crisis continues.
“If you step foot outside your household, you need to wear a mask at all times,” she said.
“It doesn’t matter where it is. We’re seeing too much evidence of people who are not wearing masks when they need to, or if they are outdoors, coming into contact with other people and not having a mask.
“If you live in a local government area of concern, you must wear a mask when you set foot outside your house.”
In addition, residents will need to stay within the 5km radius unless there are “exceptional circumstances”.
Ms Berejiklian said the new radius rules came after anecdotal updates from police that people were “using the excuse of exercising or doing another activity” within 10km to “get around or breach the health orders”.
“That can’t continue in those communities where the virus is circulating at the rate at which it is,” she said.
“Part of the reason is firstly by reducing the radius to 5km within those areas of concern, it gives police greater ability to do their job and the mask enforcement has a benefit in that if you casually come into contact with someone else and you’re not wearing a mask, it increases transferability.”