Prime Minister Scott Morrison has insisted Sydney’s lockdown is “absolutely not” due to vaccine rollout delays.
At his National Cabinet media conference today, Mr Morrison was asked whether Sydney and parts of NSW were in lockdown due to the speed of the vaccination program.
Mr Morrison said it was “always known at this time of the year, in July of this year, that we would still be in the suppression phase”.
“That means that in the suppression phase, you need to keep your systems as tight as possible,” he said.
“We’ve had breaches here, there have been breaches in other places, and when there are breaches it’s about trying to contain it as quickly as possible.
“When there are breaches it’s about trying to contain it as quickly as possible and move as quickly as possible to get us in that situation, which is what the New South Wales government is doing.”
Mr Morrison touted the strong numbers of Australians coming forward to get vaccinated.
Yesterday was the second-highest day for vaccinations in Australia since the beginning of the rollout.
“We will be hitting that important mark of 1 million doses every week,” he said.
“That puts us in a very strong place to be able to get this job done as we move towards the end of the year and indeed perhaps sooner than that.”
Ms Berejiklian pointed to the vaccination rate as a reason why the lockdown was necessary.
“NSW – in fact, no state or nation or any country on the planet – can live with the Delta variant when our vaccination rates are so low,” she said.
“So please, do not think that the NSW Government thinks we can live with this when our rate of vaccination is only at 9 per cent.
“Because if we chose to live with this while the rates of vaccinations are at 9 per cent, we will see thousands and thousands of hospitalisations and death.”
Ms Berejiklian said the state was facing “the biggest challenge we have faced since the pandemic started”.