New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has today announced that the lockdown measures in Greater Sydney will be extended by a further week.
Following an outbreak of locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Greater Sydney area entered what was initially announced as a two-week lockdown on Saturday, 26th June, and was supposed to wrap up this weekend. However, cases of community transmission are yet to drop down into the single digits, with 27 new cases of community transmission reported today (7th July).
As such, the lockdown has been extended for seven days until 12:01am on Saturday, 17th July. There remain only four reasons for leaving the house if you live in the Greater Sydney area – shopping for food or essential goods, medical care or compassionate needs, outdoor exercise in groups of 10 or fewer, and essential work where you cannot work from home.
“We appreciate and understand the stress this means for individuals, for families, and, of course, for businesses,” Berejiklian said when announcing the lockdown extension.
“But what would be far worse is being in a situation where you have to live in and out of lockdown until that period of time when we have the vaccine available to us. That is not a way to live and we want to give our citizens the best chance of staying safe and healthy.”
Many live music events have been cancelled in the wake of the previous lockdown announcement. Splendour in the Grass’ nine-day pop-up event, Splendour in the City, was scheduled to kick off this Saturday, 10th July, but was canned late last month following news of the restrictions. Windang garage-rockers Hockey Dad, meanwhile, were forced to cut short a concert at Brisbane’s Fortitude Music Hall and enter self-isolation due to stay-at-home orders introduced in their home state.
Yesterday, electronic duo Peking Duk shared an impassioned statement accusing the Federal Government of having “royally fucked” the country’s vaccine rollout, highlighting the impact that continued outbreaks and lockdowns are having on Australia’s live music and entertainment industry. The duo were scheduled to perform in Sydney this weekend as part of the Winter in the Domain concert series, but have naturally been forced to postpone that performance.
“Now in July 2021, with Australia firmly the worst performing country in the OECD for fully vaccinated adults the music industry is facing more uncertainty, more cancellations, more postponements,” the duo wrote. “America can have events, because 45% of their population is vaccinated. Australia with around 7% fully vaccinated cannot.”