NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has hinted at what may be to come for residents should the coronavirus situation in the state spiral out of control, much in the way that it has done in neighbouring Victoria.
Fronting media today after the state announced a further 18 new cases of the virus across the past 24 hours, Premier Berejiklian asserted that any potential return to lockdown conditions in NSW would be swift, and would not follow the path set out by either Victoria or New Zealand.
In Victoria, lockdown restrictions were implemented in Melbourne initially on a postcode-by-postcode basis, targeting specifically affected local government areas in a bid to contain known outbreaks. When that failed to contain daily numbers, those restrictions were then extended out to the entire metropolitan area.
Premier Berejiklian stated that any return to lockdown in NSW would likely leap straight to locking down entire city areas, implying that all of the greater Sydney area would be put under lockdown as a whole at the same time.
Berejiklian stated that “We have watched closely what has happened in New Zealand and Victoria,” and that “We are very much in control of the spread of the virus. We don’t want to go down that path. We have tested various scenarios.”
However when asked about a potential future lockdown for the state, Berejiklian stated “Without passing any judgement or commentary, and I think about the Premier of Victoria every day, the pressure they are under, but it seems apparent that any future scenario would involve cities rather than postcodes or local government areas.”
That assertion came on the heels of NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard again recommending that Sydneysiders wear a mask in situations where social distancing was not possible. However, he once again stopped short of suggesting that a mandatory mask order will be implemented like it has in Melbourne.
“If you’re on public transport, you really should be wearing a mask. We’re not making it mandatory at this stage but we’re certainly saying to the community, wear a mask. If you’re in the shopping centres wear a mask. If you go to church, or a place of worship, wear a mask. It’s not a matter of actually asking whether it’s ok to do it, it’s a case of just do it,” he stated.
NSW currently has 297 active cases of COVID-19 in the state, which is a massive increase from the previous low-point of just 5 recorded on July 9th.