Sydney begins weekend under new lockdown

Millions across Greater Sydney are beginning their weekend under tighter restrictions this morning as the state cracks down on the spread of COVID-19.

On the day the Sydney lockdown was supposed to end, NSW recorded its highest single day of COVID cases in more than a year with fears now the lockdown could stretch for weeks.

Yesterday, 44 people tested positive to the virus with 29 of those out identified as having been out in the community while infectious sending 14,000 thousand close contacts into isolation.

Premier Gladys Berejkilian yesterday warned today’s figures could be even higher due to the number of cases who were not in isolation while infectious.

Ten per cent of those currently infected with the Delta strain are in hospital and 10 people are being treated in intensive care including a person in their twenties on a ventilator.

The escalation in the crisis left health authorities with no choice but to tighten restrictions even further across the Greater Sydney region.

Outdoor gatherings and exercise are now limited to two people and must be done within 10km of your home.

Only one person per household is allowed to do the shopping and it must be for essentials only with no browsing allowed.

Carpooling is off limits and anyone you don’t live with can’t be in your vehicle.

Funerals services will also be capped at 10 people.

Police, COVID-19, COVID, Sydney
NSW Police crackdown on south-west Sydney lockdown compliance. (Getty)

The restrictions are aimed at drastically reducing the number of cases with the state unlikely to see life return to normal for some time.

“When you only have nine per cent of your community vaccinated, opening up before you get as close to that zero number as possible – it means you would subject thousands and thousands to hospitalisation and death,” she said.

“When we look around the world and we look at countries that are opening up, that are living freely with COVID and the Delta strain, they are able to do that because half of the population is vaccinated.”

A healthcare worker wearing speaks to visitors at a drive-through COVID-19 testing site set up in Merrylands in Sydney. (Bloomberg)

Police will be out in force across the city this weekend ensuring residents are obeying the new rules.

Overnight, more alerts were issued for primary exposure sites in several suburbs including Strathfield, Marylands and Bankstown.

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