Myall Coast included in statewide lockdown

Businesses close their doors in response to stay at home orders. Photo: Marian Sampson.

 

WHILE the Myall Coast is currently recording no active COVID-19 cases, the NSW Government made the difficult decision to lock down the entire state at 5pm on Saturday, in response to growing case numbers in regional areas.

Following updated health advice from NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant, stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in regional NSW.

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This new order will replace any existing orders in regional NSW.

Everyone must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave.

They also cannot have visitors in their home from outside their household, including family and friends.

People still can have one visitor at one time to fulfil carers’ responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not live together.

All hospitality venues must be closed to the public, including pubs, restaurants and cafes, except for takeaway.

Increased fines of up to $5,000 for COVID breaches, permits to enter regional NSW and a heightened police presence have been introduced, as NSW continues to battle the Delta variant.

In addition, the 10 kilometre rule has been reduced, with shopping, exercise and outdoor recreation to be done in a person’s local government area (LGA) or, if outside their LGA, within 5 kilometres of home.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the vast majority of people are doing the right thing but there are a handful of people who are wilfully breaking the rules and putting the rest of the community at risk.

“The increased fines and heightened police presence are about ensuring people who are doing the wrong thing are caught and punished appropriately,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Under the changes, there will be increased fines for Public Health Order breaches, a permit system to enter regional NSW and tightened rules for people in LGAs of concern to help reduce the spread of the Delta variant.

Increased fines for Public Health Order breaches include $5,000 on the spot fine for breaching self-isolation rules;
$5,000 on the spot fine for lying on a permit (already a criminal offence); $5,000 on the spot fine for lying to a contact tracer (already a criminal offence); $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching the two person outdoor exercise/recreation rule; and $3,000 on the spot fine for breaching rules around entry into regional NSW for authorised work, inspecting real estate and travelling to your second home.

Any person who wishes to travel to regional NSW for one of the following reasons must have a permit which will be made available on Service NSW.

a. authorised workers from LGAs of concern;

b. Inspecting real estate. Any person inspecting real estate in the regions must now genuinely need a home to live in (no investment properties);

c. Travelling to your second home. This is now only allowed if you are using the home for work accommodation or if the home requires urgent maintenance and repairs (if so, only one person may travel there).

Dr David Durrheim, Public Health Physician for Hunter New England Health said, “We need to all work together to ensure that this lockdown is the very last one that we need to endure in the Hunter New England region.”

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