NSW Covid live update: Sydney in lockdown as 30 new coronavirus cases reported and Virgin Australia flight attendant tests positive

Millions of NSW residents have woken up to the first day of a fortnight-long lockdown, which has sparked travel restrictions across Australia, as records two community cases. Follow latest updates

2.36am BST

Berejiklian is asked whether delayed introducing a lockdown because she wanted to maintain her reputation “as a premier that keeps open and looks after the economy” (the journalist’s words). She’s also asked whether she regrets criticising other states for locking down.

She says she doesn’t regret any decision she has made during the pandemic.

Can I say very, very confidently and strongly, any success NSW had had to date is because our government has to the letter followed the health advice … the health advice changed very quickly yesterday and I made sure that, as soon as Dr Chant and the experts indicated concerns, we … adopted the full health advice.

We are balancing the health advice with making sure our citizens were given that information and can I say these decisions are big decisions. It is not a decision you take lightly when you literally lockdown millions and millions of people but it is based on health advice and I am happy for any health expert to be asked any time of the day whether or not NSW government has followed their advice.

2.31am BST

Chant is asked about the chain of transmission to the original limousine driver. While authorities believe he caught it transporting a FedEx crew before 11 June, he himself has reportedly disputed that and believes he caught it at a Vaucluse cafe.

Chant says authorities don’t know “and I’ve got to say we may never do so”.

2.27am BST

In a big 2020 throwback, Chant points out there has been a positive case at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula. That pub became the centre of a long-running outbreak last year.

A positive case linked to the Ocean Foods cluster attended the hotel between 7.30pm and 10.30pm on 23 June.

2.24am BST

The Virgin air crew member was a close contact of a worker at Marrickville Great Ocean Foods. She stresses the crew member did not have symptoms and was not aware that they were a contact when they worked the shifts.

2.23am BST

Chant is asked about how many people were on the five Virgin flights where a member of the crew has now tested positive. She doesn’t have the numbers but points out that because of state restrictions they “may not have been full flights”.

She’s also asked about the two cases which are still under investigation. Chant says they were “in an area where there were cases, and what we haven’t found is the exact contact point of linkage. But geographically they were in that area”.

2.20am BST

On the pony club family who travelled from the eastern suburbs to the Hunter Valley that I told you about earlier:

No matter how much people think that they have to attend some of these events with their children or need to go on holidays, public health orders are clear.

2.19am BST

NSW deputy police commissioner Gary Worboys is speaking now. Points out some examples of panic buying, in particular at a Woolworths in Kellyville where police had to be called.

People should not do that.

When we look at some of this panic buying, again we shake our heads. It is simply not required … we ask the people be sensible in that regard from here on in.

2.16am BST

On that exposure at the vaccine centre at Westmead Hospital which I told you about earlier, the person attended on the 22nd and, Chant says, was “unaware they were positive”.

They subsequently turned out to be a close contact of another case, she said, and were tested a few days later. She says NSW Health has been “conservative” in its approach by notifying people who attended the vaccine centre before and after the case, as well as healthcare staff who may have been close contacts.

2.11am BST

Just to quickly break down those numbers.

2.10am BST

Chief medical officer Dr Kerry Chant is speaking now.

She says 10 of the new cases are linked to the Great Ocean Foods wholesaler in Marrickville. That outbreak, which emerged yesterday, is of particular concern for NSW Health.

2.06am BST

Berejiklian tells people to prepare to see Covid case numbers rise in the coming days.

Given how contagious [this strain] of the virus is we do anticipate over next few days case numbers are likely to increase even over what we have seen in the last few days,” she says.

2.05am BST

Berejiklian is responding to some of those reports of people gathering around Bondi and Coogee. She makes the point that if you are outside exercising or walking you don’t need to wear a mask as long as you are socially distancing.

2.04am BST

Gladys Berejiklian is speaking now. She says there have been more than 52,000 tests over the past 24 hours, resulting in those 30 new cases.

She says 11 of the new cases were already in isolation, and the rest of them were linked to the Bondi outbreak.

2.01am BST

NSW has recorded 30 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. All of them are linked to the Bondi cluster.

1.56am BST

Before this highly anticipated press conference begins in Sydney, here’s our updated list of exposure sites and venues:

Related: NSW Covid exposure sites: list and map of Sydney hotspots and coronavirus case locations

1.36am BST

Rapid fire press conferences!

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys press conference at 11am.

Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino, Housing Minister Richard Wynne and COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar up at 11:30am.

1.33am BST

Police in NSW have fined a man and woman from Sydney’s east who travelled to the Hunter region to attend a pony club trial.

Police say that about 3.20pm on Saturday officers from the Hunter Valley police district attended a pony club in Denman, north of Newcastle, following a report by a member of the public about three people from Sydney who were at a horse trial event.

Police located a 56-year-old man, a 22-year-old woman and a 13-year-old girl in the carpark who were not wearing face masks.

Inquiries revealed the man and girl, from Paddington, and the woman, from Maroubra, had travelled to Denman in breach of the stay-at-home order issued for Waverley, Woollahra, Randwick and City of Sydney local government areas at the time.

1.30am BST

Some of the Brisbane journalists at this presser are working hard to get Palaszczuk to say she wants game three of the State of Origin to be held in Queensland.

She doesn’t want to bite, and, as a New South Welshman I have to say, sounds more concerned about the Maroons getting belted again tonight in game two.

1.23am BST

Just reiterating, two new cases of Covid-19 in the community in Queensland.

Sunday 27 June – cases in Queensland:

Two new locally acquired cases recorded overnight.

One new overseas acquired case recorded, detected in hotel quarantine.#covid19 pic.twitter.com/Pw73W4YBQd

1.21am BST

Young says that while some restrictions are being introduced to align with the period of the NSW lockdown, the government is watching and waiting to see whether more cases appear in Queensland.

She doesn’t rule out the possibility of a lockdown if more cases develop:

We’re not winding them back as far as NSW has because we don’t have those outbreaks here. If we were to get outbreaks, we would – as we have always done – consider what we need to keep people safe.

We’ll just have to see how all of this evolves over the next few days.

1.17am BST

Anyone in Queensland who has been in any of the 35 metropolitan LGAs across Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong or Shellharbour must follow the NSW lockdown rules for the next fortnight, or from 14 days since they left the area, Young announces.

1.16am BST

Young says Queensland Health is also going through the process of contacting people who may have been fly-in fly-out workers at the Northern Territory mine where a worker tested positive on Friday.

The man was asymptomatic, and only discovered the infection when he was alerted to a potential hotel quarantine breach in Queensland through a message from interstate authorities.

If any of those people are in Queensland, we’re currently contacting them. We’ve already got hold of several and are testing them and they’ve gone into quarantine. There is a lot happening here but the straightforward message is please, if you are sick, it is absolutely critical that you immediately come forward, get tested and isolate till you get a negative result for Covid. That is just critical.

1.12am BST

Queensland’s chief health officer, Jeanette Young, says the state’s health authorities are still working through the two community cases.

One of the cases is a worker at a direct factory outlet in Queensland, where there have previously been cases, but Young said authorities believed it was likely the person caught the virus through a contact who contracted the virus at a previous outbreak at a Portuguese restaurant in Brisbane.

We know that they are known to friends of some of the people who attended that Portuguese restaurant. So we’re just working that through.

We suspect that’s where the linkage has happened. They themselves did not attend that function at that restaurant. We’re just working through what’s happened there. So we suspect it will be the Alpha variant, the UK variant, but we’ll need to get genome sequencing back to confirm that.

1.09am BST

Palaszczuk says the Queensland government has decided to pause the easing of some restrictions over the two-week lockdown in NSW. It means that bars and cafes will go back to limits of one person per 2 sq metres, and household visitor limits of 10 people.

On the flight attendant who travelled from Sydney, she says the “good news” is that the flights “weren’t very full”.

1.05am BST

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is speaking now. The state has recorded two new cases of community transmission of Covid-19. One of the cases included a person without symptoms who has been out and about in the community.

It is not the strain currently circulating in Sydney, she says. It is the ‘Alpha’ strain of the virus.

12.58am BST

Just before 11pm last night NSW Health listed a few new exposure sites. Anyone who attended the following venues is considered a close contact and must get tested and isolate for 14 days.

They are:

12.32am BST

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian will hold a press conference at 11am.

12.29am BST

Labor’s shadow environment minister, Chris Bowen, is speaking on the ABC’s Insiders program. He’s not criticising premier Gladys Berejiklian for seeking to hold off on a lockdown.

Sydneysiders know that this lockdown is necessary. I’m not here to criticise Gladys Berejiklian. On the contrary, I think all premiers deserve our support, regardless what party they’re from, in these tough decisions.

12.22am BST

South Australia has backdated its isolation rules for people from greater Sydney.

SA Health has announced that anyone who arrived in the state since Monday must now isolate for two weeks and get a Covid-19 test on days one, five and 13.

12.00am BST

In State of Origin news, deputy premier John Barilaro insists New South Wales “will not be giving up our right to host” game three despite, you know, the spiralling Covid-19 outbreak.

Seems to have erroneously called it a decider, though. As if NSW isn’t going to easily win game two tonight.

Despite the growing risk of COVID-19 in Greater Sydney, we will not be giving up our right to host the State of Origin decider.

I’ve spoken to @pvlandys and indicated we could host the game in Newcastle if the health advice recommends it not be held in Sydney.

11.55pm BST

In case you missed it yesterday, the New Zealand government has paused quarantine-free travel from all Australian states and territories until 9:59pm on Tuesday.

NZ’s Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, said the “precautionary step” would be reviewed on Monday.

I acknowledge the frustration and inconvenience that comes with this pause, but given the high level of transmissibility of what appears to be the Delta variant, and the fact that there are now multiple community clusters, it is the right thing to do to keep Covid-19 out of New Zealand.

11.46pm BST

New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro speaking on Sky this morning.

DP John Barilaro speaking w @Kieran_Gilbert this morning: “In hindsight there’s a lot of things we could have done differently, we could have managed Ruby Princess differently, we could have mandated the mask on that limousine driver.

11.39pm BST

NSW Health has also begun contacting people who were at the Covid-19 vaccination hub at Westmead.

The venue is not on the exposure list as yet, but the Guardian understands people who were at the vaccine hub on 22 June have been contacted by the health department and told to isolate until 6 July.

11.35pm BST

Some good news: Victoria has reported no new cases recorded yesterday.

Reported yesterday: 0 new local cases and 3 new cases acquired overseas.
– 14,982 vaccine doses were administered
– 20,698 test results were received
More later: https://t.co/lIUrl0ZEco
#COVID19Vic #COVID19VicData pic.twitter.com/f8OXi4IsaM

11.32pm BST

The five Virgin Airlines flights that the infected aircrew member worked on are as follows:

Victoria has been alerted to a positive case who travelled to Melbourne on Virgin Flight 334 from Brisbane on 25 June, landing 5:20pm. The case, who left VIC on 26 June, was a close contact of a NSW case. The result was processed interstate and won’t be in Victoria’s numbers.

The crew member is now in isolation and Virgin Australia is rapidly contacting all team members who are close contacts. Virgin Australia is requiring those crew members to cease flying, get tested and isolate.

All passengers on flights the crew member operated will be contacted by health authorities and advised on the correct protocol. The aircraft this crew member has flown on are being deep-cleaned overnight, as are any Virgin Australia spaces the crew member visited. Virgin Australia is working with the relevant airports to ensure all public spaces are also being deep-cleaned.

11.23pm BST

Good morning. My name is Michael McGowan and I’ll be bringing you all of today’s developments as much of Sydney wakes to its first full day of this Covid-enforced lockdown.

The troubling news overnight is that health authorities have confirmed that a Sydney-based flight attendant who worked several shifts for Virgin Airlines has tested positive for the virus.

Continue reading…

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