New COVID-19 restrictions have been announced for Sydney as authorities scramble to gain control over the current coronavirus outbreak.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Saturday reported another 111 new local COVID-19 cases and the third death of the outbreak.
See NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s latest COVID update in the video above
Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and the Central Coast, is currently in lockdown, with residents given only four reasons to leave home.
But given the number of new local cases being out in the community while infectious remains stubbornly high Berejiklian said tighter restrictions were needed.
Of the new cases announced on Saturday, 29 were not in quarantine during their infectious period.
From 11.59pm on Saturday, non-essential retail will be forced to close, except for takeaway and home delivery.
Supermarkets, grocery stores, pharmacies, health stores, petrol stations, car hire, banks and financial institutions, hardware stores, agriculture and rural supplies, pet supplies, post offices and newsagents and office supply stores will be allowed to remain open.
Residents of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool council areas cannot leave their local government area for work except for emergency services and healthcare workers.
Where those workers do need to leave their LGA for work, they are required to be tested every three days, even if they do not have symptoms.
Masks are being made mandatory in all outdoor work settings, in outdoor markets, outdoor shopping strips and in any outdoor queues such as takeaway food.
Residents will need to carry masks when leaving home and carpooling is banned.
From Monday, all construction will be paused across Greater Sydney, including non-urgent maintenance, cleaning services and repair work until at least July 30.
Employers must also allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.
The decision to tighten restrictions was made after the NSW crisis cabinet met on Friday.
“It is not good enough for us to tread water which is what we’re doing now,” Berejiklian said on Saturday.
“We have certainly prevented thousands and thousands of cases but we haven’t managed to quash the curve and that is why the New South Wales government is taking further action from today.
“We want to make sure we have a no-regrets policy.
“We want to get out of this lockdown as soon as we can.
“We want individuals, families and businesses to bounce back as soon as we can, and that’s why we’ve taken some very difficult decisions.”
The new restrictions will remain in place until at least July 30.
The new restrictions come after rules were tightened last week.
Currently, only two people are allowed to gather outdoors for exercise or recreation.
When out for exercise, people must stay in their local council area or within 10km of their home.
Browsing in shops is prohibited and only one person per household can go shopping for essential goods each day.
Funerals are also limited to 10 people in total.
The intimate bubble arrangement still remains and people can visit their partners if they do not live with them.
The four reasons to leave home remain in place, which are shopping for food and essentials, medical care, exercise limited to two people and essential work.