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Rise in Coronavirus cases sees NSW Government introduce two-week lockdown for Greater Sydney and surrounding areas

Rise in Coronavirus cases sees NSW Government introduce two-week lockdown for Greater Sydney and surrounding areas
June 27, 2021

A sharp rise in the number of a new variant of Coronavirus has led the NSW Government to introduce a two-week lockdown for Greater Sydney and the surrounding areas of the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour that will halt all non-essential activities.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian gave just four hours-notice for the new lockdown as of 2pm yesterday (Saturday 26th June), ramping up the reintroduced anti-COVID measures that applied to parts on Sydney from Thursday.

Explaining that the Delta variant was proving far more contagious than earlier variants, Premier Berejiklian said the escalation was "putting everyone on notice", noting that “this (is) the scariest time since the pandemic started.”

While ‘COVIDSafe weddings can take place this weekend (they will be banned from Monday), restrictions include no more than five visitors in your home, seated hospitality, 50% capacity for outdoor events, indoor mask wearing and restrictions for funerals and weddings.

Theatres and sporting events
The lockdown ends a period of confusion for Sydney’s theatres, with uncertainty about whether audiences need to stay at home after seeing a show.

As of Friday, most theatres were operating at full capacity and were not enforcing mask wearing.

The Guardian Australia reported one theatre producer, who did not want to be named, as stating “audiences are scared … people were already asking for refunds or credit notes, now they don’t know if they need to stay at home after seeing a show or not. It’s chaos.”

Bondi Festival, which was cancelled last year and had already moved its 2021 opening by a week, will be forced to move it again.

Opera Australia paused its productions of Aida and Attila, which was cancelled just after opening last year.

As of Thursday, the Australian Mass Participation Sporting Events Alliance reported that The Sydney Morning Herald Health Marathon, scheduled to be held today (Sunday 27th June) had been cancelled.

Chris Jarvis, Regional Director for event organiser The IRONMAN Group Oceania advised “this is not the outcome anybody wanted, but ultimately, the health and well-being of athletes, volunteers, partners, community, and staff is the primary concern.”

As of today, Rugby Australia has advised that the first rugby Test between Australia and France on 7th July has been moved from the SCG to Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane to avoid the lockdown in Sydney. The French squad is midway through a two-week lockdown ahead of the three-Test series.

Impact across Australian and New Zealand
Outside of NSW, the last 24 hours have been marked by new Coronavirus and snap lockdown measures.

In the Northern Territory, Chief Minister Michael Gunner has introduced a snap 48-hour lockdown for Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield after four new cases were recorded in a 24-hour period.

The New Zealand Government has announced it will pause the travel bubble between all Australian states and territories for three days beginning from 8:30pm AEST last evening.

It said the decision followed updated public health advice regarding multiple cases and outbreaks across Australia in differing stages of containment.

Fans will be locked out of today’s AFL clash between the West Coast Eagles and Western Bulldogs at Perth’s Optus Stadium, with the game to go ahead at an empty venue.

WA’s health minister, Roger Cook, announced that late on Saturday night a woman who had travelled to Sydney had returned a positive result, sparking new restrictions on gatherings and forcing a highly anticipated AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Western Bulldogs to be played behind closed doors.

The restrictions were announced last night after a woman who had returned from Sydney visited a number of venues, saw clients and then developed symptoms a few days later and subsequently returned a positive Coronavirus test result.

Lower image: Empty streets around Sydney's City Recital Hall. Credit: City Recital Hall.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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