WATCH LIVE: Scott Morrison, Gladys Berejiklian press conference today with NSW COVID-19 update
NSW businesses are awaiting details of a support package aimed at keeping them afloat with no end in sight for Sydney’s lockdown.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian are expected to unveil details of the support plan on Tuesday afternoon.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison are expected to hold a press conference at 3.30pm on Tuesday. You can watch it LIVE in the video player above as soon as it’s available.
It’s set to include JobKeeper-style payments to cover costs and wages as long as no worker is sacked.
Disaster payments are also expected to rise from the current cap of $500 a week for people in nationally recognised hotspots for more than seven days and who cannot work.
NSW reported 89 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and recorded its second death from the outbreak, a man aged in his 70s from the eastern suburbs.
With the rapid spread of the Delta variant across households, Sydney’s lockdown is likely to continue beyond Friday and into its fourth week.
Calls for COVID-19 payment increase
Social services and union groups have demanded more support for affected residents across Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour areas.
The Australian Council of Social Service wants a top-up and expansion of the disaster payment scheme.
The current scheme drops to $325 for people who usually work fewer than 20 hours a week.
Those already receiving income support are excluded.
“We need to urgently deliver an income floor to ensure everyone affected by the pandemic has an income above the poverty line,” ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie said.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions has called for casuals to be included in any wage subsidy program.
ACTU secretary Sally McManus said the majority of permanent employees stood down last year had exhausted their paid leave, while the casually employed remained in limbo with no job security or end in sight.
Tougher restrictions are being brought in for Sydney’s south west, with essential workers in the Fairfield local government area required to get a COVID test every three days.
This is aimed at ensuring essential health and aged care workers can do their jobs without unknowingly spreading the virus.
Federal and state health authorities have continued to urge younger people not eligible for Pfizer vaccines to talk to a doctor about getting AstraZeneca.
A national expert panel still recommends Pfizer for people under the age of 60.
But this has been complicated by a shortage of that vaccine and the spread of the Delta variant.
Two million medical-grade masks from the national stockpile are being sent to primary health networks across Sydney alongside gloves, gowns and goggles.