July 15, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday extended the lockdown of Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast, by “at least” two weeks, with a tentative end – or reassessment – date set for midnight July 30.

This morning 65 new cases were reported, including 28 which were in the community for their full infectious period.

The lockdown continues to be criticised by some for not being hard enough, with state officials refusing to define what is essential work and not mandating the closure of non-essential shops – although some have closed voluntarily. There is currently a 10km travel limit in place, but some believe it should be half that.

The state government has mandated testing every three days of anyone who lives in the Fairfield local government area but works outside of it, due to the LGA being a major centre of the current outbreak. Anyone living in Greater Sydney and working in the regions is also required to be tested at least once a week.

So far there have been 929 cases detected since the outbreak began in Sydney’s eastern suburbs on June 16. There are currently 368 exposure sites listed across NSW, with all but a handful of them in Greater Sydney.

There is also increasing concern in Victoria , after 11 locally acquired cases were identified there yesterday, most of which are linked to three removalists from Sydney who later tested positive for COVID-19. However, there is also at least one case linked to a quarantine breach of a person who returned from Sydney and went to the supermarket during their mandatory two week isolation period.