The NSW Government this morning confirmed that the current lockdown in place for Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour will be extended for at least another four weeks, until Saturday, 28 August.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said extra time will allow NSW residents to significantly increase the uptake of vaccines in areas most affected by the current outbreak and across the state.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said higher vaccination rates and following the health orders are the only way to guarantee the further easing of restrictions.

“Though the Pfizer supply is insufficient there is plenty of AstraZeneca, and updated federal health advice recommends anyone aged 18 and over in Greater Sydney should access the jab,” the Premier said.

“If you are unvaccinated, please organise a jab as soon as you possibly can, especially if you live in an LGA of concern.”

Given localised case numbers, the Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River LGAs will join the five existing LGAs of concern which are subject to an Authorised Workers Order. Only authorised workers in these eight LGAs may leave their LGA for work.

The five previously announced LGAs of concern are Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Blacktown and Cumberland.

The Premier also announced this morning that construction in non-occupied settings outside of the LGAs of concern (with no residents on-site) will re-open as planned, subject to a one person per 4sqm rule. These low-risk construction sites must have COVID safe plans in place, compliance will be strictly enforced. Construction cannot resume in the eight LGAs of concern, nor will construction workers be allowed to leave these areas.

The NSW Government is also working with industry and the Department of Education to introduce Rapid Antigen Testing to mitigate against outbreaks in workplaces and schools.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said though the stay-at-home restrictions are difficult for the community this is a critical time if we are to suppress the outbreak.

“The vast majority of the community has been absolutely fantastic to date and have followed the public health advice. Though we are easing some restrictions today we need people to redouble their efforts as we continue to battle the Delta variant in the coming weeks,” he said.

“We need people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary to leave and the best reason for most people to leave home right now is to get vaccinated. In doing so, you are taking a vital step to protect yourself, your loved ones and the community.”


The NSW and Commonwealth Governments also announced today that the joint JobSaver program will be significantly boosted to give greater support to businesses and individuals impacted by the extended lockdown.

JobSaver payments will now be available to businesses with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $250million, up from $50m, which have experienced a revenue decline of 30 per cent or more.

The maximum weekly payment has also been increased, with employing businesses that maintain their employee headcount now able receive between $1500 and $100,000 per week, up from $10,000, with payments based on 40 per cent of their weekly NSW payroll.

Premier Berejiklian said the additional support would help deliver businesses and individuals the financial assistance needed during the necessary extension of the lockdown.

“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,” she said.

“We don’t want people to have to worry about how they are going to keep the lights on or reopen their businesses when restrictions ease, which is why we are investing billions to give people that piece of mind.”

Applications for JobSaver opened on Monday with more than 14,000 applications already received and almost $28 million approved for payment so far. Payments are expected to start hitting bank accounts from 31 July.

JobSaver payments are available from week four of the lockdown. Non-employing business remain eligible for a maximum of $1000 per week.

In addition Prime Minister Scott Morrison said COVID-19 disaster payments, made to those who have lost work because of lockdowns will be extended to $750 a week for people who have lost more than 20 hours and to $450 to those who have lost between eight and 20 hours.

For the first time people already receiving welfare payments like a carers payment will be allowed to claim COVID-19 disaster payments of $200 a week if they have lost more than eight hours of work.

The Prime Minister said: “The priority is to ensure we’re there to support those that need that help. “Because this is the task, we will come through the lockdown, and on the other side we come back strongly, that’s what we saw last year.”

The Australian Hotels Association NSW welcomed the package, with CEO John Whelan saying a number of hotels, previously excluded from support, would now benefit from the changes.

“Today’s changes to JobSaver are desperately needed as many hotels were ineligible for support under the earlier scheme,” Whelan said.

“All hoteliers are really struggling to keep their businesses – and the livelihoods of their thousands of staff – afloat and this will help many.

“We also welcome the Morrison Government’s increase of the NSW COVID Disaster payments today – it will help ease the burden on workers in our sector doing it tough right now through no fault of their own.

“It very pleasing the State Government and Commonwealth are listening to the hotel industry and both recognise the dire situation our sector is in.

“Hotels in NSW have been closed down for more than 120 days and counting during the various lockdowns. We have not been able to operate at more than 50 per cent capacity for 17 months. Unfortunately the bills keep coming in.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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