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Confusion as Sydney wakes to harsh new lockdown restrictions

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The light rail tram lines empty of people on George Street in the CBD on July 17, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images)

The light rail tram lines were empty of people on George Street in the CBD on July 17, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. 

Sydney has woken to its harshest COVID-19 restrictions since the pandemic began after 111 cases were recorded yesterday.

Construction has been halted and only certain essential retail stores remain open in tough new COVID-19 rules that have been put in place until at least July 30.

In the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown, and Liverpool local government areas it is now only emergency service and healthcare workers who can leave their homes for work.

Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone said there was widespread confusion over the new rules for locals in southwest Sydney.

"I think the government's message needs to be clearer, more direct," he told Today.

"What they say at 11 am needs to stand, at least to be clear. The health orders need to be delivered in advance so people know and we can communicate with our local citizens.

"Our citizens are hard-opinion working people that go to work every day and just try and make a living."

The confusion hit transport workers who this morning were frantically trying to figure out if they are categorised as emergency service workers.

Upon appeal, the NSW Government amended the category to include essential freight workers.

Under the exemption "any person who performs work that is essential for the continued operation of food retailing, warehousing and distribution, transportation" will still be able to travel outside the three LGAs to work.

However, the Transport Workers Union is seeking further clarification on bus drivers and taxis.

Major bus depots which service the Inner West and regional bus routes are inside and just outside of the Fairfield LGA.

According to the 2016 census, more than 20,000 transport workers live in the Fairfield, Liverpool, and Canterbury-Bankstown LGAs.

TWU NSW Branch Secretary Richard Olsen said the NSW Government should follow Victoria's lead in deeming transport worker groups as essential.

"We welcome the exemption which reflects the essential work done by transport workers, but we require urgent clarification that all transport workers including those providing critical passenger transport, air freight, and waste removal services will not face penalties for going to work," Mr. Olsen said.

"Without this clarification, we will see waste piling up in our streets, passengers stranded at bus stops, and freight left unattended at airports."

Meanwhile, a whole host of new venues and bus routes in the COVID-19 hotspot of the southwest of Sydney have been added to the ever-growing NSW exposure sites list.

In the NSW Health alert, issued at 10.40 pm on Saturday night, two venues were added to the two-week mandatory isolation list.

Ten days' worth of customers at Belmore's Raw Coffee Bar — from Wednesday, July 7 to Friday, July 16 — are now considered close contacts and are required to isolate for 14 days.

Anyone who attended the following venues on the days and times listed is a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days since their last day at the site, regardless of the result, and call 1800 943 553 unless they have already been contacted by NSW Health:

·      Belmore: Raw Coffee Bar, 426 Belmore Rd on Wednesday 7 July, Thursday 8 July, Friday 9 July, Saturday 10 July, Sunday 11 July, Monday 12 July, Tuesday 13 July, Wednesday 14 July, Thursday 15 July, Friday 16 July between 5 am – 3 pm (all days)

·      Belmore: Belmore Medical Centre, 479 Belmore Rd on Thursday 8 July between 2.50 pm – 3.10 pm

2 Comments

  • Pich

    Pich

    3:42 AM, 24-07-2021

    😑

    0 Reply
  • Suvir

    Suvir

    10:42 PM, 22-07-2021

    Hard lockdown came too late. The numbers accelerated. If they wanted hard lockdowns should have done it earlier. Now the genie is out of the bottle once more.

    0 Reply

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