• Tony Bosworth


Today is the most concerning day, said Premier Gladys Berejiklian this morning as she revealed, “the largest jump [in COVID cases] we have seen in a night”.

In the Hawkesbury there are currently 4 cases noted and now for all four of those the source is unknown. Those figures were updated not long ago, but they are a day behind. We'll be keeping an eye on that.

Fifty-nine of the new 466 cases are from Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District - which includes the Hawkesbury. We're trying to get a better breakdown of where those cases are specifically.

Of the rising NSW cases, the Premier said this morning, "we cannot see this trend continue,” as she announced tighter controls this morning.

In the Hawkesbury from Monday, exercise will be limited to 5km from your home or within the local government area. The rule previously was 10km from your home or within your LGA.

It applies from 12:01am Monday August 16.

“In Greater Sydney [which includes the Hawkesbury] and other lockdown areas, the 10-kilometre rule will come down to 5km, so you can do activity within your local government area but instead of 10km from your home, it will be 5km from your home and that’s for all of Greater Sydney,” said the Premier.

“Exercise means only exercise and supervision of children, so the word recreation, that word is taken out in terms of those local government areas of concern, exercise means exercise.”

Police are launching Operation Stay At Home from Sunday and this includes the Hawkesbury by the looks of it – the Police Operation covers Greater Sydney, the Police Commissioner said this morning, but again we’ll confirm that once the new rules are officially handed out. Basically it means more police checks on people moving around when they shouldn’t be.

Large fine increases have been announced, including $3000 fines for more than 2 people out exercising.

Other penalties include:

  • $5000 on-the-spot fines for quarantine breaches (up from $1000).

  • $5000 on-the-spot fines for lying to a contact tracer (this is already a criminal offence)

  • $3000 on-the-spot fine for breaching the two-person exercise rule in any way

  • $3000 on-the-spot fine for breaching rules about going into regional New South Wales from Greater Sydney – you cannot do that, so that means you can’t leave the Hawkesbury to go anywhere else.

There will be a permit system from this coming Friday which aims to stop people taking family out of Greater Sydney on vacations to other premises or holiday homes, for example - that has been an issue.

The Premier said the permit system details will be on the NSW government website from Monday.

“I think it is important that those people who have been getting around the orders, taking family on vacations to other premises, that is over,” said the Premier.

“The permit will only allow generally one person to travel for what is essential business."

Of the new NSW cases, 76 were in isolation throughout their infectious period, 19 for part of that period. At least 68 were infectious in the community.

There were 129,352 tests reported to 8pm.

There are 378 COVID patients in hospital, 64 in intensive care, with 29 on ventilators.

Younger patients are ending up in intensive care – 4 are in their 20s, 6 are in their 30s, and 7 are in their 40s.

We’ll update as things become clearer in terms of restrictions.

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