NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a raft of new coronavirus restrictions for Greater Sydney, including a string of lockdown-like conditions for a handful of key local government areas, as the delta variant cluster continues to grow at a concerning rate.

Effective immediately, but with “compliance” enforced from 4pm this afternoon, all residents of Greater Sydney will be required to wear masks in all indoor settings. That extends the previous indoor mask order to include all indoor workplaces and offices.

In addition, private indoor gatherings across Greater Sydney will be limited to five people per day, with children to be included in that total.

Further to that, residents who live or work within the City of Sydney, Randwick, Waverley, Canada Bay, Woollhara, Inner West, and Bayside LGAs are not permitted to travel outside of metropolitan Sydney, unless for absolutely essential reasons. That particular restriction represents a move that’s about as close to a formal lockdown as the lockdown-averse NSW Government seems willing to make at this current point.

On that point, Berejiklian asserted “if you live or work in the seven LGA places described earlier in the week… you cannot travel outside Sydney unless you are visiting a relative in care or have to go to work so unless it is essential travel, you should not be going outside metropolitan city for the next week.”

NSW health officials have confirmed an additional 13 new cases of community-acquired COVID-19 in the state since 8pm last night. That follows on from 10 cases recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday. Eight of the new cases are linked to a birthday party in West Hoxton, with ten cases in total now associated with the party.

Elsewhere, hospitality venues, as well as weddings and funerals, are being reverted to the one person per four square metre density rule, with “vertical consumption” at venues to be outlawed.

Gym classes are permitted to continue with a 20-person limit, however masks must be worn for the duration.

The outbreak of the Delta variant has caused huge concern among officials, with Health Minister Brad Hazzard asserting “I have to say as New South Wales Health Minister I am as worried now as I have been any time since January last year.”

The new restrictions in Sydney are set to remain in place for at least another week.

More to come as this story develops.