July 12, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

With cases continuing to rise in Sydney’s outbreak of the Delta COVID-19 strain – 127 new locally acquired cases were reported on Saturday and Sunday and 112 cases were announced this morning – the likelihood of the lockdown of Sydney, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast ending on schedule on Friday at midnight looks slim.

In this morning’s press conference, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had this to say, “Given where the numbers are, it’s not likely, in fact almost impossible for us to get out of lockdown on Friday but we will be able to provide you further information as soon as that comes to hand.

“The length of the lockdown will depend on our ability to come together and follow the health advice across the state.

“Across the state, I want to say, because it would be a big irony if we did all the hard yards and got rid of the virus in certain parts of Sydney and then had it creep into the regions.

“All of us have the accountability to do the right thing because none of us wants to be in this situation for longer than we have to be.”

On Friday Berejiklian tightened the conditions of the lockdown, limiting outdoor gatherings to two people, imposing a 10km travel limit and limiting shopping to one person per household per day. Since then mask wearing has also been introduced for public areas of apartment blocks.

On a positive note, the vaccine rollout in NSW continues to build a vaccinated population – just over 100,000 vaccine shots were reported over the weekend, covering Friday and Saturday. A further 25,220 vaccines were administered on Sunday and reported this morning.

The NSW state government has previously set a target of 10 million jabs to consider significant changes to their approach to restrictions in the state to control COVID-19 (outside of the current outbreak). The current number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in NSW stands at 2,703,690. Berejiklian flagged this morning that the state now has the capacity to administer 200,000 jabs per week and that the Commonwealth has about the same capacity through the GP network. Assuming demand for vaccinations keeps pace with supply – and that supply matches capacity – this would see the state reach the 10 million goal in just over 18 weeks’ time.

Hopefully that provides some comfort to our industry.