Sydneysiders will be barred from travelling any further than 10km from their homes as part of a raft of new COVID restrictions being implemented in response to the growing crisis in NSW.

With the state recording a worrying 44 new COVID cases in the past 24 hours, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the heightened restrictions short time ago. Those restrictions are set to come into effect from 5pm this afternoon.

Chief among them, people will only be permitted to travel within their local government area, or within 10kms of home, for the purposes of exercise and outdoor recreation. Car-pooling between non-household members will also be ruled out.

In addition, outdoor public gatherings will be restricted to just two people. Although that excludes members of the same household – ie. all members of the same sharehouse will still be permitted to gather together outside. Indoor gatherings are also being drastically scaled back to zero, with Berejiklian asserting: “Nobody is allowed into your house. Nobody outside your household is allowed into your house. The only exception is if you are receiving care by people, one person, dropping off essential goods or for health reasons or exceptional circumstances.” That, presumably, means previous rulings on intimate partner visits are now out the window.

Legitimate reasons for leaving the house will also be drastically tightened up, with only one member of a household allowed to leave the house once a day for the purposes of shopping for essential goods. “Browsing in shops” has been prohibited.

Funerals will also be restricted to ten people total, although that restriction has been delayed until this coming Sunday.

Of the 44 new cases, 29 of the them were in the community for part of, or all, their infectious period. Which is cause for grave concern amongst state health officials. A person aged in their 20s is said to be on a ventilator in hospital, according to Chief Health Minister Dr Kerry Chant.

The tightened restrictions apply to the regions that were already subject to lockdown conditions, which covers Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, and Shellharbour. The current level of restrictions in place for regional NSW will remain unchanged.

Image: Getty Images / Lisa Maree Williams