The entire state of NSW will be plunged into a strict lockdown from 5pm tonight as cases explode and rip through vulnerable regions.
August 14, 2021 4:25PM
Last updated August 14, 2021 5:11PM AEST
A statewide lockdown has been announced for the whole of NSW from 5pm tonight.
The stay-at-home orders will be in place for at least one week.
Like Greater Sydney, regional residents can only leave home with “reasonable excuses” like shopping for essentials, to seek medical care, provide caregiving, outdoor exercise with a member of your household or one other person, and work, if you cannot work from home.
The lockdown announcement was leaked around 3pm by Nationals MP Ben Franklin.
It was later confirmed by NSW Health at 3.30pm.
That gives regional residents just 1.5 hours to prepare for lockdown.
Read on for the latest Covid news and updates.
NSW residents are not impressed by the decision of the state’s Premier Gladys Berejiklian to announce the new regional lockdown…over Twitter.
Regional citizens were officially alerted to a week-long lockdown at 3.30pm today, to begin at 5pm.
However, Ms Berejiklian didn’t make an appearance at a live press conference.
Instead she announced the change over her social media channels.
People who know elderly residents in the regions are concerned that the message won’t get across.
@Gladys announcing NSW lockdown on Twitter instead of holding a presser is one of the most irresponsible things an incompetent premier can ever do! Not everyone uses Twitter Gladys. Next u will blame people for not complying to the orders! WTF are you doing woman!?! Get a grip! https://t.co/Bga3tVcZj6
— Love_to_stir (@Love_stirring) August 14, 2021
My 85 year old mother needs to hear it from the horses mouth too…
We’re finally just about to go into lockdown in NSW & Gladys makes the announcement on Twitter. ?
How much more disrespect can Gladys demonstrate? https://t.co/vjwAQqiKtV
— Sandy knows integrity is lacking in politics ? (@SandyinKatoomba) August 14, 2021
All 7.95 million residents (as of March 2018) in NSW are in lockdown from now on.
The lockdown began at 5pm Saturday and will last for at least a week for those in regional areas.
The lockdown in Greater Sydney is expected to end on August 28, at the earliest.
However, that’s looking increasingly unlikely after the state recorded 466 new community transmissions today.
With just 1.5 hours to prepare for a week of staying at home, panic buying has hit NSW’s regions.
The northwestern town of Griffith is in the throes of a panic, with huge queues spotted coming out of its Woolworths store.
Police have been spotted standing at the shop’s entrance.
Toilet paper there ran out around 4pm, according to a photo of an empty shelf sent to news.com.au.
NSW deputy premier John Barilaro has revealed the decision that ultimately tipped authorities over the edge to call a statewide lockdown.
Speaking to the ABC on Saturday, Mr Barilaro said the decision was made after “numbers coming out of Dubbo overnight and further numbers this morning”.
Sewage testing in rural areas found Covid-19 fragments, despite no known cases having been to those regions.
With these mystery cases mounting, the government decided it was high time to lock down the entire state.
The NSW deputy Premier John Barilaro has clarified some of the new state-wide lockdown rules while speaking to the ABC on Saturday afternoon.
He said that schools across the entire state will be closed on Monday.
He’s also confirmed that there are no distance limits for regional areas.
While people in Greater Sydney can only travel within a 5km radius from Monday, regional residents aren’t restricted in this way.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has been slammed for giving residents in regional NSW just one and a half hours notice to get their affairs in order before a week-long lockdown begins.
Ms Berejiklian was lambasted online, with critics saying she must have known about the lockdown and should have announced it at her daily 11am press conference.
“You need to go in front of the cameras,” wrote one person.
“NSW health website isn’t even updated yet. How will people know. Not everyone is on the internet. Shameful.”
Another added: “Wait… NSW held a press conf at 11am but didn’t announce the state wide lockdown, instead sort of but not really announcing it at 3pm, to start at 5pm?”
One more person pointed out “Perhaps Gladys forgot to mention this in today’s press conference? Is there anything else she forgot to tell her citizens?”
— Tegan George (@tegangeorge) August 14, 2021
— Jack Foster (@jacklfoster) August 14, 2021
Apparently the buck didn’t stop when it came to announcing NSW’s sudden statewide lockdown apparently starting in 90 minutes’ time. Has Gladys lost control of her government?
— Adam Parker (@AdingtonP) August 14, 2021
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the new statewide lockdown via Twitter.
She tweeted the news at 3.45pm, which was exactly 20 minutes after an email announcement sent to media by NSW Health provided more details on the lockdown.
That was despite having the entire state watching her during her usual 11am press conference.
Now, regional residents have just 1.5 hours to prepare for lockdown.
Following the press conference today, I received health advice concerning multiple regional NSW areas. As such, from 5pm tonight, all of regional NSW will go into a seven-day lockdown. This means the whole state is in strict lockdown. pic.twitter.com/urND0bYfkT
— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) August 14, 2021
The government has provided a comprehensive list of which stores can stay open and which must shut their doors during the statewide lockdown, which will last for a week for regional areas.
Retail premises are required to close except for:
- supermarkets and grocery shops,
- shops that predominantly sell food or drinks eg butchers, bakeries, fruit shops and delicatessens, but does not include restaurants or cafes.
- chemists and pharmacies,
- shops that predominately sell office supplies, pet supplies, newspapers, magazines and stationery, alcohol, maternity and baby supplies, medical or pharmaceutical supplies
- food and drink premises, but only to sell takeaway
- cellar door premises, but only to sell takeaway
- hardware and building supplies
- landscaping material supplies
- rural supplies
- timber yards
- garden centres and plant nurseries,
- vehicle hire premises, not including the premises at which vehicles are sold,
- shops that predominately carry out mobile phone repairs.
Service stations, banks, post offices, laundromats and drycleaners can also remain open.
⚠️ STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS FOR REGIONAL NSW FROM 5PM TODAY ⚠️
To protect the people of NSW from the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, new restrictions will be introduced for all of regional NSW, effective from 5pm tonight until 12.01am Sunday 22 August 2021. pic.twitter.com/Y68KKV0wVf
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) August 14, 2021
Every single person in NSW must carry a mask with them at all times, at least for the next week.
The rules follow the news that the entire state will be plunged into a 7-day lockdown with a spate of harsh new restrictions.
“Anyone who leaves their home must carry a mask with them at all times,” a government statement reads.
“They must be worn when working outdoors, by all school staff, by all people in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips, and in an outdoor queues waiting for products such as coffee and food.”
However, it appears masks do not have to be worn for outside exercise.
NSW Health has finally made a formal announcement of the statewide lockdown, which will kick in at 5pm in order to “protect the people of NSW from the evolving Covid-19 outbreak”.
For now, stay-at-home orders will remain in place until 12.01am on Sunday, August 22.
They were announced following updated health advice from NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant.
From 5pm, everyone in NSW must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave. They also cannot have visitors in their home from outside their household, including family and friends.
People still can have one visitor at one time to fulfil carers’ responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not live together.
All hospitality venues must be closed to the public, including pubs, restaurants and cafes, except for takeaway.
Most retail premises are required to close.
Anyone who leaves their home must carry a mask with them at all times. They must be worn when working outdoors, by all school staff, by all people in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips, and in an outdoor queues waiting for products such as coffee and food.
Every employer across NSW must require their employees to work from home unless it is not reasonably practicable.
NSW Health urges people to continue to present for testing with even the mildest of cold-like symptoms.