Sydney Extends Lockdown Amid Surge In Delta Cases

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Sydney: In order to contain the spread COVID-19 cases, Sydney has extended the month-long lockdown by another four weeks.

New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the lockdown has been extended until at least August 28.

Berejiklian said the harshest lockdown restrictions, now in place in regions of southwest Sydney, will be extended to other areas in the city’s west.

A vaccination campaign will also be ramped up for high school students in those regions. But she made a concession to the economy, saying that the construction sector can restart work in other areas of the city.

In a bid to relieve pressure on businesses and workers in New South Wales, Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday announced more federal funding for smaller businesses impacted by the lockdown to reach as much as A$100,000 ($74,000) a week, along with increased welfare payments for lower-income workers who have lost salaries. His government is now spending about A$750 million a week on support for the state, he said.

More than 2,500 people have been infected in Sydney’s worst outbreak this year.

New South Wales – of which Sydney is the capital – reported 177 new cases on Wednesday, the most in a day since March 2020.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was not possible for the city to exit lockdown on Friday as had been planned.

She announced further curbs on movement – including a 10km (6.5 miles) limit on essential shopping.

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