All of regional NSW will be plunged into a seven-day lockdown from 5:00 pm tonight (14 August) after the state recorded its worst tally of locally acquired cases.
A total of 466 cases were announced this morning, only 76 of whom were in isolation during the entirety of their infectious period. There have been four more deaths.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the new order was being brought in to minimise movement and protect regional communities from the evolving situation in Sydney.
All non-essential retail premises will close and pubs, restaurants and cafes will be takeaway only.
People cannot have guests in their house but one visitor is allowed to provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons.
This includes two people who are in a relationship but do not live together.
Employers must require their employees to work from home if they can do so and masks must be worn when leaving the house.
Non-residents are not able to enter the ACT from NSW without an exemption and returning residents must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Standing exemptions are in place for border residents, which includes surrounding towns like Queanbeyan, Murrumbateman, Yass and Bungendore, but not Goulburn or Braidwood.
Residents in these areas will now be subject to the same restrictions as all of regional NSW.
NSW residents will also face harsher penalties for breaching COVID-19 restrictions, with fines increasing to $5000 for infringements.
Member for Bega Andrew Constance confirmed that there are no cases on the South Coast, but urged residents to abide by the new restrictions.
“Please do not think you are above these orders because that’s how the virus spreads and spreads fast,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I would ask everybody to use their computers and phones to stay in contact with each other and keep morale high, particularly amongst our young people.
“This is going to be tough, but I know how resilient our community is.”
Tightened restrictions were announced for some local government areas in Sydney while an additional 500 Defence Force personnel will be brought in to help NSW Police launch a new compliance operation tomorrow.
The virus also continued to seed in the regions, including 26 new cases in Dubbo and surrounding regions.
NSW closed its border to Canberrans following the ACT’s seven-day lockdown announcement, which started on Thursday (12 August).
ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan said the Territory and NSW would be working together to ramp up border checks over the coming days.
For further information on the new restrictions for regional NSW, visit nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules.