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NSW government considers tougher lockdown settings in Sydney as COVID-19 outbreak passes 1000 cases

The NSW government is considering the other tightening COVID-19 lockdown settings in Greater Sydney, with the number of new local cases out in the community while infectious remains are stubbornly high. New rules enforcing COVID-19 testing every three days for Fairfield-based essential workers, meanwhile, have come into effect. NSW recorded 97 new local virus cases 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, with at least 46 out in the community for part or all of their infectious period.

A sign warning people to socially distance is seen on the foreshore in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Friday, 16 July, 2021.

The outbreak has passed 1000 cases since it began on 16 June.

With the number of cases in the community, while infectious, failing to slide despite three weeks of lockdown, the NSW government crisis cabinet met on Friday afternoon to consider harsher COVID-19 lockdown settings.

The outcome of that meeting will be revealed on Saturday.

On Friday, the Australian Medical Association called for a harder NSW lockdown, including the closure of all non-essential retail and business activity. It also wanted more substantial limits on travel distances from home. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she wouldn’t “hesitate to go harder” on restrictions only if they had a tangible public health benefit.

She also warned case numbers would likely surge again at the weekend.

A sign warning people to socially distance is seen on the foreshore in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Friday, 16 July 2021.

AAP

“We need to make sure that any decisions we take will have the desired effect of reducing those numbers,” Ms. Berejiklian told reporters. Three-quarters of the newly recorded cases were recorded in the Fairfield local government area, which has become the outbreak’s epicenter. From Saturday, essential workers who live in the Fairfield area but work elsewhere will be obliged to take a COVID-19 test every three days. There are currently three 24-hour testing clinics in the council area. Fairfield-based essential workers who are asymptomatic are permitted to seek COVID-19 testing closer to their place of work rather than wait in queues.

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