As NSW struggles to contain its Delta-variant Covid outbreak, three regional areas in the central west of the state went into a seven-day lockdown from midnight last night (Tuesday night).
Orange, Cabonne and Blayney council areas will remain under lockdown until Wednesday 28 July after several exposure sites were reported in Orange. Included in the sites are a Woolworths store and a Pizza Hut outlet.
Among those infected is a close contact of an infected delivery driver who visited a site last week.
Residents of the three council areas must only leave home for essential reasons, including shopping for food and essential items, medical care, and work or education where it can’t be done from home. Exercise activities are limited to two people together or members of the same household.
Construction work in Sydney is paused
Weddings and funerals can continue as normal until Thursday night. But thereafter only funerals are allowed and will be capped at 10 people.
Hard-pressed Sydney has also been struck by another blow, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcing what she called “a pause” to all construction work in the city.
The Premier said this would last until 31 July and was aimed at allowing construction-industry workplaces time to introduce Covid-safe plans.
There has been concern that large numbers of workers have been leaving the Covid hotspots in south-west Sydney to attend work elsewhere.
Victoria extends its current restrictions
Meanwhile, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer has declared that the current restrictions in the state will remain in place for at least another seven days “in order stamp out this Delta variant and keep Victorians safe”.
“Just over a week ago the Delta variant made its way into our state from NSW and, since then, Victoria’s contact tracers have worked around the clock to contain this virus, but today we still stand with 85 active cases and more than 15,000 primary close contacts in quarantine,” a media statement from the Victoria Government said.
“This is how quickly the Delta variant is moving – faster than anything Victoria’s public health experts have seen before it. It means we need to limit movement for a longer period of time so contact tracers can get ahead of the virus, instead of just keeping pace with it.”
Minister for Health, Martin Foley, added: “We’ve had thousands of Victorians return from New South Wales in recent weeks, but with the situation escalating, the recent incursions and the increased infectiousness of the Delta variant, we must act to protect Victoria and temporarily pause Red Zone Permits.”