Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong will go into a 14-day lockdown as health authorities try to regain control of a coronavirus outbreak that has ballooned to 80 cases. Some 29 covid-19 cases were recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday, 17 of which had already been announced, taking the cluster to 80 cases.
The latest wave of Covid-19 in Australia seems to be driven largely by the recent introduction of the Delta variant B.1.617.2, following a pattern now seen worldwide.
From 6pm on Saturday, residents in the affected areas will only be able to leave home for essential reasons. People may only leave their homes for work, to shop for essential items, to seek medical care, or for care-giving or compassionate reasons.
Exercise outdoors is allowed in groups of up to 10, and Covid-safe funerals can proceed with up to 100 people. Weddings are allowed to go ahead on Saturday and Sunday with restrictions in place, but must be cancelled from Monday onwards. No more than five visitors are allowed for a household each day, masks are required indoors and restrictions apply to weddings and funerals.