Coronavirus Australia: Millions of Victorians to be RELEASED from lockdown as Sydney cases soar

Victorians (pictured, in Melbourne) are set to be released from their fifth lockdown

Victorians are on track to throw off the shackles of their fifth Covid lockdown on Wednesday, but the nightmare is only just beginning for Sydneysiders who could remain under stay-at-home orders until at least mid-September.

Gladys Berejiklian’s government has made a request for financial modelling that would assess the devastating effect of extending the Greater Sydney lockdown to September 17.

A crisis cabinet will meet on Monday morning, with sources saying the announcement of a ‘significant extension’ could be just hours away.

September 3 was initially floated as a potential date to end the shut down, The Australian reported, but that could be pushed back even further in the face of relentlessly rising case numbers and hospitalisations. 

In an interview on the Today show on Monday morning, the premier denied the report, saying: ‘I don’t know where they got that date from. It’s news to me.’ 

‘What I do know is that the experts are meeting with myself and colleagues and senior government officials this week, to actually talk about what life beyond July 31 looks like,’ she added.

Ms Berejiklian also denied the report in an interview on 2GB radio, saying: ‘I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions like that.

‘I don’t know where that story came from, it certainly wasn’t from me or anybody who’s in the know.’

The New South Wales government is fearful that Harbour City businesses will be decimated, with many unable to survive the gruelling shutdown without a huge financial support package from the federal government.

But after a further 141 Covid cases recorded on Sunday, including the shocking death of a young finance worker and a total of 2,081 infections since June 16, authorities feel they have no choice but to extend lockdown.

South of the Murray River things are looking much brighter for Premier Daniel Andrews with face-to-face learning in schools, freedom of movement and the reopening of bars and restaurants ‘very likely’ to return on Wednesday.

South Australia is also due to end its week-long lockdown on Tuesday night.

NSW government has made a request for financial modelling to assess the devastating effect of extending the Greater Sydney lockdown to September 17 – with a ‘significant extension’ to be announced imminently (pictured, an eerily quiet Sydney on Sunday night)

Victoria (pictured, locked down Melburnians) are set to be released from lockdown as planned on Wednesday, while South Australians will also be free from Tuesday night

Health department sources told The Herald Sun that despite the Victorian reopening, a number of restrictions will remain in place until vaccination rates have drastically improved.

While Victoria had 11 further infections on Sunday, bringing the total active number of cases in the state to 179, all of the new transmissions were isolating and had not been in the community.

All 11 were also linked to known cases. 

These vital statistics have put the Garden State firmly on track to get out of lockdown on Wednesday as scheduled.

Policymakers and health officials are currently in favour of schoolchildren returning to the classroom this week with excursions, planned camps and events also set to be given the green light.

High level talks are already underway to open the doors of Victoria’s beloved hospitality venues with cafes, restaurants and bars looking likely to trade this week under the 4 person per sq/m rule with a cap of 50 patrons indoors.

Retail stores are also set to have the same restrictions, while outdoor community sports events will be capped at 100 people.

South of the Murray River things are looking much brighter for Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) with face-to-face learning in school, freedom of movement and the reopening of bars and restaurants ‘very likely’ to return on Wednesday

FIND THE LATEST EXPOSURE SITES NEAR YOU

Both NSW and Victoria saw thousands join anti-lockdown protests over the weekend (pictured in Melbourne on Saturday) 

VICTORIA’S NEW RESTRICTIONS AFTER LOCKDOWN ENDS

Health official say it’s ‘very likely’ the state’s lockdown will end as planned on Wednesday.

Major changes will likely include:

–  Schools to reopen

–  Cafes and restaurants open but with a cap of 50 people inside and 100 outside

– Retail to open with one person per 4sqm rule

– Outdoor community sport to restart with 100 person cap

– Masks to remain mandatory both indoors and outdoors

– The new restrictions will apply statewide, including in Melbourme 

Under the new proposal face masks are expected to remain mandatory both indoors and outdoors as the highly contagious Indian Delta variant continues to wreak havoc north of the border.

One of the issues that could stand in Victoria’s way however is a potential rise in cases due to the anti-lockdown march which occurred in Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday.

More than 1,000 people flooded the streets flouting stay-at-home orders to protest Covid restrictions, with many more taking to the streets in Covid-ravaged Sydney.

The demonstrators were seen abandoning face masks and disregarding social distancing, raising concerns the anti-lockdown rally could act as a super spreader for Covid-19.

A final decision on whether Victorians will be released from lockdown is expected to be made on Monday.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s lockdown nightmare is only just beginning with the NSW crisis cabinet set to meet on Monday morning to discuss what can be done about the surging number of Covid cases and the simultaneous anti-lockdown demonstrations that took place in Sydney over the weekend. 

Internal government data suggests there is little chance stay-at-home restrictions can be lifted safely before the middle of September, prompting the Berejiklian government to request financial modelling that would spell out the potential damage. 

Adriana Midori Takara, 38 (pictured), returned a positive test for the highly infectious Indian Delta variant on July 15 and succumbed to her illness less than two weeks later

WHERE DO SYDNEY’S 141 NEW CASES LIVE?

South-west Sydney: 62

Western Sydney: 46

City and inner-west: 19 

South-east Sydney (including Woollahra, Waverly and Randwick): 10

Central Coast: 3

Northern Sydney: 1

Source: NSW Health 

Despite much of the focus being on the ballooning case numbers in the city’s south-west, the region made up less than half of the new cases reported on Sunday with people still becoming infected all over the city.

The Australian reported that NSW Treasurer Dominic ­Perrottet is expected to submit a request to the federal government for the reintroduction of the JobKeeper wage to keep businesses and their workers afloat.

Several large companies that did not qualify for financial assistance during the current lockdown are already warning they will have to lay off workers.

Freedom Furniture informed about 100 workers in NSW they had been stood down, while cinema and hotel operator Event Hospitality & Entertainment have also warned they may have to do the same unless wage subsidy programs are implemented.

Scott Morrison over the weekend flagged a ‘truckload of financial support going in’ to NSW, which he said amounts to $500million a week.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) and the NSW crisis cabinet are set to meet on Monday morning to discuss what can be done about the surging number of Covid cases and the simultaneous anti-lockdown demonstrations that also took place in Sydney over the weekend

Two women are pictured strolling through Centennial Park on Sunday (pictured) as Sydney stares down the barrel of a brutally long lockdown extension

FIND THE LATEST EXPOSURE SITES NEAR YOU

A toddler is seen greeting a woman in Sydney’s Surry Hills on Sunday (pictured) with stay-at-home restrictions set to be in place for many weeks to come 

‘We will continue to do what is necessary to ensure the recovery of our economy, to get to the other side of this when the lockdowns are lifted,’ the Prime Minister said.

‘The Treasurer and I and the expenditure review committee of cabinet, we meet regularly, we met this week.

‘We will continue to work through contingency options and prepare ourselves for whatever set of circumstances may present. So we’ll keep doing that’.

Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson said if the lockdown in Sydney continues, a flood of Commonwealth money will be needed as it was during the first wave of cases last year.

‘If we stay stuck in lockdowns for another couple of months – and not just in Sydney – then the way we’re doing it at the moment wouldn’t have the firepower needed to keep more businesses going and keep more workers connected to their businesses.

‘So we’re OK as we are for now. But if this gets much worse, then we should swap over to a tweaked JobKeeper. JobKeeper isn’t perfect either, but we know it gets some great results’.

Scott Morrison over the weekend flagged a ‘truckload of financial support going in’ to NSW, which he said amounts to $500million a week (pictured, a quiet George Street in Sydney)

Violent clashes broke out  between anti lockdown demonstrators and police in Sydney on Saturday (pictured) with fears the protest could have been a super-spreader event

NSW was rocked by the death of a ‘fit and healthy’ Brazilian finance worker on Sunday, who was in the final year of her Masters degree in Sydney.  

Adriana Midori Takara, 38, returned a positive test for the highly infectious Indian Delta variant on July 15 and succumbed to her illness less than two weeks later.

Friends claimed she contracted the virus from her roommate who works as a nurse, and despite trying to get an AstraZeneca vaccine, was denied by her doctor. 

Ms Takara had no underlying health conditions that would have contributed to her death and her distraught family back home were forced to say their final goodbyes over Zoom.

But the tearful conversation was one-way with Ms Takara never regaining consciousness after emergency heart surgery, after the viral infection spread to her heart. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the young woman’s death should serve as a stark warning to those complacent about the virus that it does not discriminate.

South Australia, which has been in lockdown for nearly a week, is on track to ease restrictions as planned on Tuesday as long as no new mystery cases arise.

Like Victoria, some rules are likely to stay in place for longer including the one person per 4sqm rule in shops and hospitality venues. 

SYDNEY’S NEW COVID EXPOSURE LIST REVEALED SUNDAY NIGHT

Anyone who attended the following venues on the times listed is a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result:

Campsie: Canterbury Late Night Pharmacy – Thursday July 22, 7.40pm – 7.50pm

Parramatta: Threefold Pastry – Friday July 16, 10am – 3pm

Seven Hill: newsXpress – Monday July 19, 4.15pm – 4.25pm 

Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a casual contact who must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received:

Ballina: Ballina Airport arrival lounge – Wednesday July 14, 11.45am – 12.10pm

Pendle Hill: Miruna Sri Lankan Restaurant – Wednesday July 14, 12.30pm – 1pm, Thursday July 15, 1pm – 1.30pm and Friday July 16, 9am – 9.30am

Toongabbie: Commonwealth Bank – Friday July 16, 10.45am – 11am

Moore Park: Moore Park Golf Club – Tuesday July 20, 9am – 12pm and Wednesday July 21, 8.45am – 10am

Bankstown: Blooms Chemist – Thursday July 22, 4.40pm – 4.45pm 

Campsie: Cinocotta Chemist – Thursday July 22, 3.45pm – 3.50pm

Bankstown: Pharmacy 4 Less – Friday July 23, 12.30pm – 12.50pm

Smithfield: Bunnings – Tuesday July 20, 6.45am – 10.30am

Cabramatta: BreadTop – Saturday July 17, 8.45am – 8.55am 

Fairfield Heights: Fairfield Heights News Agency – Monday July 19, 5.15pm – 5.25pm

Wetherill Park: Big W – Friday July 16, 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Mount Lewis: Sea Sweet Patisserie – Thursday July 1, 8.55am – 9.05am

Cabramatta: Tan Thuan Loi Butchery – Saturday July 17, 10.20am – 10.30am

Toongabbie: Woolworths – Wednesday July 14, 5.50pm – 6.15pm

Pemulwuy: Woolworths – Saturday July 17, 7pm – 8pm

Auburn: Auburn Police Station – Wednesday July 21, 4.40pm – 5.10pm

Kingsgrove: Woolworths – Monday July 19, 5pm – 6pm

Casula: Chemist Warehouse – Monday July 19, 4.20pm – 4.45pm

Potts Point: Woolworths – Thursday July 15, 5.40pm – 6.50pm, Friday July 16, 8.20am – 8.50am, Sunday July 18, 6.30pm – 7.05pm and Wednesday July 21, 2.05pm – 3.05pm

Greystanes: Woolworths – Saturday July 17, 11.25am – 12.25pm

Parramatta: Threefold Pastry – Thursday July 15, 12.30pm – 1pm

Old Toongabbie: IGA – Friday July 23, 12.20pm – 12.40pm 

Chester Hill: Woolworths – Friday July 23, 6.15pm – 7.15pm and Sunday July 25, 8.50am – 9.50am

Eastern Creek: Red Rooster – Wednesday July 21, 12pm – 12.10pm

Edmondson Park: Oporto – Tuesday July 20, 10.10pm – 10.30pm

Anyone who travelled on the following bus routes is a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result:

Bus 270: Wynyard to Belrose Country Club – Wednesday July 14, 6.31am – 7.04am

Bus 270: Belrose Country Club to Wynyard – Wednesday July 14, 2.33pm – 3pm

Bus 270: Clarence Street to Belrose Country Club – Thursday July 15, 6.17am – 6.47am

Bus 270: Belrose Country Club to Wynyard – Thursday July 15, 2.49pm – 3.17pm 

Bus 270: Wynyard to Belrose Country Club – Friday July 16, 6.21am – 6.52am

Bus 270: Belrose Country Club to Wynyard – Sunday July 18, 2.32pm – 2.59pm

Bus 940: Penshurst Station to Narwee Station – Monday July 19, 11.58am – 12.05pm  

Anyone who travelled on the following train routes is a casual contact and must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result:

T1: Strathfield to Wynyard – Wednesday July 14, 6.06am – 6.24am

T1: Wynyard to Strathfield – Wednesday July 14, 3.03pm – 3.29pm

T1: Strathfield to Wynyard – Thursday July 15, 5.45am – 6.05am 

T9: Wynyard to Strathfield – Thursday July 15, 3.23pm – 3.44pm

T1: Strathfield to Wynyard – Friday July 16, 5.57am – 6.17am

T1: Redfern to Strathfield – Friday July 16, 3.57pm – 4.08pm

T1: Strathfield to Wynyard – Sunday July 18, 5.54am – 6.13am

T1: Wynyard to Strathfield – Sunday July 18, 3.03pm – 3.24pm

T2: Strathfield to Lidcombe – Tuesday July 20, 1pm – 1.07pm

T1: Lidcombe to Strathfield – Tuesday July 20, 2.03pm – 2.08pm

T4: Hurstville to Kirrawee – Sunday July 18, 6.20am – 6.36am

T4: Hurstville to Kirrawee – Monday July 19, 6.14am – 6.31am 

T4: Kirrawee to Hurstville – Monday July 19, 7.14pm – 7.29pm

T1: Town Hall to Auburn – Monday July 19, 1.21pm – 1.48pm

T4: Hurstville to Kirrawee – Tuesday July 20, 6.44am – 7.01am

T4: Kirrawee to Hurstville – Tuesday July 20, 2.44pm – 2.58pm

T5: Pendle Hill Station to Wentworthville – Friday July 23, 12.06pm – 12.10pm 

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