NSW COVID-19 restrictions tighten on exercise, funerals as numbers rise

Restrictions tighten as NSW COVID-19 numbers rise again

RESTRICTIONS have tightened in parts of NSW with existing stay-at-home orders in a bid to staunch COVID-19 case numbers travelling "the opposite of where we need or want the numbers to go".

NSW recorded 44 cases to 8pm on Thursday night, with 29 circulating while infectious.

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said she was "extremely concerned", naming a range of suburbs where emerging cases were seen.

Sutherland, Sylvania, Hurstville and Maroubra were warned to stay vigilant as well as West Hoxton, Bass Hill, Greenacre, Panania, Bankstown, Canley Vale, Chester Hill, Edmondson Park, Moorebank, Narellan Vale and more.

"We only have nine per cent vaccination," she said.

"We cannot let this virus take a foothold.

"This trend has to be turned around, and the only way we can do so is to turn around the numbers. COVID cannot affect people if you do not come into contact with them."

Exercise groups will shrink from a maximum of 10 to two for parts of greater Sydney from 5pm on Friday, including the Central Coast, as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned she expected the spike would continue.

Car pools have also been ruled out.

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From Sunday funerals will drop to 10 people in what Ms Berejiklian dubbed a "heart-breaking" result.

"I appreciate the message I'm delivering today is quite shocking but I need everybody to be shocked," Ms Berejiklian said.

"NSW is facing the biggest challenge we have faced since the pandemic started, and I don't say that lightly.

"Unless there's a dramatic turnaround in the numbers I can't see how we'll be in a position to ease restrictions by next Friday."

Ms Berejiklian said cases in southwestern Sydney were far from the only place positive tests had emerged.

"When we talk to you about the number of cases we don't worry too much about the cases in isolation because we know they're not spreading the virus," Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

"When you see 29 ... it tells us the numbers are going to go up. This is the opposite of where we need or want the numbers to go."

New restrictions snapshot

From 5pm today (Friday, July 9) these apply to those in Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour:

  • Outdoor public gatherings limited to two people (excluding members of the same household);
  • People must stay in their Local Government Area or within 10kms of home for exercise and outdoor recreation, with no carpooling between non-household members;
  • Browsing in shops is prohibited, plus only one person per household, per day may leave the home for shopping;
  • Funerals limited to 10 people in total (this will take effect from Sunday, July 11);

The four reasons to leave your home remain in place:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services (one person only);
  • Medical care or compassionate needs (only one visitor can enter another residence to fulfil carers' responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons);
  • Exercise with no more than two (unless members of the same household);
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.
This story Restrictions tighten as NSW COVID-19 numbers rise again first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.