COVID live updates: Virus ‘blind spot’ forces harsh new work and travel rules in NSW

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the state’s coronavirus case numbers are “stubborn” and new restrictions will be put in place to drive infections down.

Follow all of Saturday’s COVID-19 updates in the live blog below.

Live updates


NSW’s restrictions – explained 

Sooooo many questions about the NSW restrictions, we’ve got an article on things you need to know out of today’s press conference in NSW.

Regarding the three LGAs in Sydney that people cannot leave: 

Under the new rules, the only people who will be able to leave those areas for work are essential health and emergency services workers.

People who are employed in the aged-care and disability sectors are counted as health workers. 

Even then, people who are exempt and able to leave the suburbs must get COVID-19 tests every three days, regardless of whether they have symptoms.

And here’s some of the finer details:

  • You can only gather outside in groups of two (or, with members of your household) and it must be for exercise
  • If you’re exercising, you can only do so within 10km of your home
  • Carpooling is not allowed, unless you’re with members of your household
  • You must wear a face mask when indoors (unless you’re at home), or when you can’t socially distance outdoors
  • Only one person, per household, per day may leave home to shop

Read all about it here. 

By Caitlyn Davey

Potential exposure in Northern NSW

Dr Chant said today:

“We had three of today’s cases, are people who travel to Molong in the state’s Central West in the 16th of July and what happened is, we found the results of their testing and called them when they were just about to conclude some of their business. Unfortunately, those people had also worked in the Northern New South Wales on the 15th, and we will be releasing any information that is relevant about that. We’re just ascertaining some additional data.”

Keep an eye on the exposure sites here. 

By Caitlyn Davey

By Caitlyn Davey

Victoria’s outbreak in the Richmond Apartment Block 

Is there any additional info on the apartment block in Richmond Vic that is locked down?

-Vic Blog Fan

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton also confirmed there is a positive case at a Richmond apartment block.

Professor Sutton said the block was being treated with the same response that’s been used for other settings in apartment blocks where people need to get tested and isolate for 14 days.

There are 23 apartments in the seven-storey building on Burnley Street in Richmond.

He said residents have been notified. 

By Caitlyn Davey

A 70-year-old man who travelled from Indonesia to Darwin on his own yacht has tested positive to COVID-19

In a statement, a NT government spokesman said the man arrived in the NT on July 13 and had mild symptoms.

“The skipper and one passenger remained on [the] boat until they were transferred to CNR [Howard Springs quarantine facility] on 14 July, at no time did they enter into the community,” he said. 

“All necessary border arrival requirements were met.”

Via Lauren Roberts.

Read the full story here. 

By Caitlyn Davey

NSW: Are take-away food outlets still open? 

Non-essential retail can remain open for click-and-collect or takeaway but not face-to-face.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: 

“Anything which is regarded as non-critical retail will not be able to have face-to-face. We will be able to have click and collect, delivery or take away but please know we have considered carefully what is on the critical list.”

By Caitlyn Davey

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

Play Video. Duration: 3 minutes 9 seconds

Chief Health Officer of Victoria, Brett Sutton speaks about the Victorian outbreak

By Caitlyn Davey

Some questions answered 

Getting the real hard questions today!

My partner and I have been together for 4 years. I live in Fairfield LGA, and he does not. Am I still allowed to visit him in his home (he lives alone)? Is he still allowed to visit me?

— Frustrated in Fairfield

Oh FiF, I’m sorry to hear your situation. While Dr Chant did say you can visit partners during lockdown, movement in and out of the LGAs is severely restricted now so I’d say no unless you locked down together and don’t leave. 

Do you have to wear a mask outdoors at all times in Victoria?

-thank you

  • Face masks must be worn indoors and outdoors by anyone aged 12 years and over, whenever you leave your home – unless a lawful exception applies. – that’s from Vic Health.

hi, where has brett sutton gone? we miss him :((


He was on leave but he’s BACK – gracing our screens today. I’ll have some video of him just for you shortly. 

What about manufacturing of construction industry items located in Sydney? Do we close or can stay open? Also what about freight drivers entering to deliver to other parts of Australia? This is very unclear as we fit in construction manufacturing. Thank you.


Freight is considered essential – but I’m not sure if you’re in one of the three LGAs that are restricted. It would depend what your business is classified as. I’m sorry I can’t be more help but if construction is locked down, I’d assume you would be too unless an exemption is granted. 

Will golf courses be open in Greater Sydney with the new restrictions in place?


Not likely. 

By Caitlyn Davey

By Caitlyn Davey

South Australia working with freight industry to find a workaround on COVID testing 

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says the SA authorities are working with the freight industry to find a good outcome for drivers to cross the border.

He says that the removalists fall under the freight industry and that a rule for 48-hour border testing set-up was onerous. 

He says the authorities are working with the freight industry to find a suitable set-up to protect the community and continue to allow the industry to operate.

By Caitlyn Davey

By Nicholas McElroy

Key Event

South Australia blocks almost all Victorian travellers

South Australia has barred almost all Victorian residents from entering the state – and plans to prevent South Australians returning next week without specific exemptions.

Effective immediately, only SA residents, people genuinely relocating or those fleeing domestic violence can enter from Victoria.

There is still a 70km cross-border bubble zone but Victorians cannot go any further into SA.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens has warned South Australian residents to come home now and do two weeks home quarantine, or risk being locked out early next week, due to the deteriorating situation in Victoria.

They would then need to apply for limited exemptions from SA Health as is currently the case for SA residents in New South Wales.

By Caitlyn Davey

By Caitlyn Davey

Victoria’s lockdown – will it get tighter or any end in sight? 

This was asked a lot throughout the press conference for Victoria. 

The prof, CHO Brett Sutton said it’s day-by-day and too early to say about lock-down changing, and contact tracing:

“We’re not far behind, we’re going as fast as we’ve ever gone but it is a challenge, when we’re seeing people exposed one day, and two days later already transmitting.”

They’re chasing the chains of transmissions, and say that the lockdown is giving the contact tracers time – and that it’s good news all cases are linked. 

“Lockdown does its job of limiting other exposures.”

Shout out to the contact tracers – it must be mayhem. 

By Nicholas McElroy

By Caitlyn Davey

Will NSW outbreak likely affect Victoria further? 

CHO Brett Sutton shared some words about the Sydney outbreak. 

“We’ve always said, any issue is the country’s issue. We have nothing but solidarity with health teams in NSW, and people of NSW. The risk will be across Australia when there are cases anywhere in Australia. Risk will remain everywhere until the risk can be driven right down.”

By Nicholas McElroy

All but one of Victoria’s new COVID cases were infectious while in the community

Victoria’s Health Minister says all but one of Victoria’s new coronavirus cases have been infectious while in the community.

The new cases include another person who went to the MCG. He infected two friends, who recently travelled to Phillip Island.

There are also two more staff members infected from Trinity Grammar, another student at St Patricks’ primary in Murrumbeena, two more Bacchus Marsh Grammar staff members and one student.

Martin Foley says there are now 10,000 primary close contacts, and more than 160 exposure alerts but fast contact tracing work and the lockdown have kept exposure times to a minimum.

“It is an average of 1.7 days of their infectious period in the community and that figure is a vindication of the going hard and going early strategy that the public health team have put to the government,” he said.

By Nicholas McElroy

Construction work on hold across Greater Sydney due to COVID-19

All construction work across Greater Sydney is on hold as authorities try to get on top of the growing COVID outbreak in New South Wales.

There are 111 new community transmitted cases in Sydney, with at least 29 of them infectious while in the community.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says deciding to pause construction work was difficult.

“We don’t underestimate the impact this has on our businesses. We appreciate that,” she said.

“But what is really important to us is to give business every chance to bounce back.

“This is our chance to quash this virus and to make sure that families and businesses can bounce back as quickly as possible.”

By Nicholas McElroy

Can bottle shops open in Sydney?  

Can bottle shops open in Sydney?


This is a very popular question on the blog today.

Probably because is isn’t explicitly mentioned on this NSW Government list of businesses can remain open:

  • Supermarkets
  • Stores that predominantly sell health, medical, maternity and infant supplies,
  • Pharmacies and chemists
  • Petrol stations
  • Car hire
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Hardware, nurseries and building supplies,
  • Agricultural and rural supplies
  • Pet supplies
  • Post offices and newsagents
  • Office supplies

 We will find out the answer and post it here as soon as we know.

By Caitlyn Davey

Posted , updated 

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