NSW government support for locked-down businesses could be days away, as the state records 18 local COVID-19 cases

Steven Saphore /
  • News of financial support for locked-down NSW businesses could be days away, Premier Gladys Berejiklian says.
  • Until midnight on July 9, non-essential businesses across Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour will be forced to close their doors.
  • Industry leaders said the initial week-long lockdown, which originally applied just to central Sydney and surrounding suburbs, could cost $760 million in lost trade.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Businesses impacted by the two-week lockdown of Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour could be left waiting another two days for news of targeted financial support from the state government, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced.

Speaking in Sydney Monday morning, Berejiklian said new funding measures, which she first flagged on Sunday, will likely be announced Tuesday or Wednesday this week.

“I am hoping to announce that tomorrow or the day after in terms of financial assistance,” Berejiklian said.

Under the expanded lockdown, which is expected to last until midnight, July 9, non-essential businesses have been forced to close their doors, while hospitality venues and restaurants are permitted to serve take-away only.

Business leaders fear the costs of the lockdown could be catastrophic.

Before the lockdown was extended to include all of Greater Sydney and other regional centres, industry organisations feared the week-long lockdown of central Sydney and surrounding local government areas could cost $760 million in lost trade.

Impacted workers will have access to the federal government’s new COVID-19 disaster payment, which was first deployed during Victoria’s recent lockdown.

But union leaders and social service advocates have criticised the payment for being too small and its eligibility criteria too strict to reach many workers temporarily put out of work.

New South Wales’ latest lockdown measures are the first the state has experienced since the federal government’s JobKeeper program came to an end.

“We have to be prepared for the numbers to bounce around”: 18 new COVID-19 cases counted on Monday

State health authorities counted 18 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Sunday night, marking a day-on-day reduction from the 30 cases reported on Sunday.

All but one of those cases have been linked to the prior outbreak, with the remaining case being found in the vicinity of other confirmed infections.

Investigations into that case are ongoing.

Only six of those 18 cases were in isolation at the time they tested positive, with several others “active in the community,’ Berejiklian said.

While the day-on-day reduction in new cases is a positive development, authorities have warned that numbers will remain volatile for some time to come.

“While the numbers today are less than the numbers yesterday, we have to be prepared for the numbers to bounce around and we have to be prepared for the numbers to go up considerably,” Berejiklian added, voicing fears that new virus variants are more contagious than previous outbreaks.

It will take at least five more days before the effects of Sydney’s lockdown has an appreciable impact on new case numbers, Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said.

“The restrictions came in towards the end of last week, there were other mitigations earlier on, but the cases we have now reflect exposures that occurred” over the previous week, she added.