The numbers in Sydney are pretty grim at the moment. The city is already in lockdown and daily new cases are climbing to the highest levels we’ve seen in many, many months.
Current lockdown restrictions are set to last until July 30, but stricter restrictions between now and then wouldn’t surprise anyone, either.
A stay-at-home order is already in place in Sydney, and things like restaurants and bars are shut. Masks are mandatory indoors, as is checking in with QR codes.
Now people in the Fairfield LGA must get tested every three days if they leave the area for essential work, and NSW Police has sent in 100 extra cops (which they didn’t do for Vaucluse and the Eastern Suburbs) to boot.
This is got many of us wondering what could be next if things get worse before they get better.
So what would a Stage 4 lockdown in Sydney look like? The Burnett Institute’s Brendan Crabb told the ABC’s 7:30 program that it would likely model Melbourne’s Stage 4 lockdown from last year.
“We’re going to need tougher restrictions, something more akin to stage four in Victoria, to get this back to zero within a reasonable time frame,” he told the program.
Dr Norman Swan on why Sydney might need to move to stage 4 lockdown restrictions in order to get the Delta variant under control. pic.twitter.com/dbbx1v2Ote
— The Project (@theprojecttv) July 11, 2021
Crabb reckons we could se things like mandatory face masks outdoors (currently they’re only mandatory indoors) as well as potential evening curfews.
“You just don’t know enough to know what worked and what didn’t work. Some of these things like mask outdoors and light curfew might work to influence behaviour as much as they are direct epidemiological tools,” he said.
“So, unfortunately at the moment it’s still a blunt instrument and you’re better off adopting all of them rather than cherry picking and taking a risk.”
However Deputy Premier John Barilaro told Sky News: “I can promise you that there’s never been a conversation around curfews or going even further.”
Between these two sentiments, something may have to give.
The biggest difference between the current situation in Sydney and what went down in Melbourne last year is that we now have vaccine. It would just be nice if we had enough to go around and immunise the community enough for the virus to stop spreading like wildfire.
Most experts reckon Sydney’s going to be facing lockdown restrictions of some kind for the next few weeks at least.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says we’re aiming for a number “as close to zero as possible” for cases infectious in the community. (Today it was 24 of 97 cases, so uh, yikes.)
Once we see that number go down, that’s when we know things are turning around.