Australia news LIVE: NSW COVID-19 cases surge; restrictions reimposed on Greater Sydney

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Key posts

  • Berejiklian will ‘probably’ pull lockdown trigger if unknown cases rise: Expert
  • NSW Health Minister says he’s a possible close contact of potentially positive case
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Berejiklian will ‘probably’ pull lockdown trigger if unknown cases rise: Expert

Professor Jane Halton, the chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, says there a “couple” of factors NSW authorities will consider when it comes to the possibility of a citywide lockdown in Sydney.

“It will be the number of cases of unknown origin,” Professor Halton said on the Today show just moments ago.

Chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Jane Halton.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“If they have an increase in the number of cases of unknown origin, and the premier has already signalled this, she will do whatever is necessary.

“She’s made a judgment that she doesn’t want to go instantly to lockdown, but she’s clearly got that on the list of options and there is no doubt in my mind, if this keeps going with unknown origin cases, she will probably have to use that option.”

NSW Health Minister says he’s a possible close contact of potentially positive case

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has just told the ABC he is a possible close contact of a likely positive COVID-19 case.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.Credit:Rhett Wyman

“I was due to do a range of TV interviews this morning,” Mr Hazzard told ABC News Breakfast by telephone.

“There was a text message that had come in sometime during the night … telling me that a case had been detected as a likely positive, and that I was a possible close contact. It emphasises how dangerous this Delta virus is.”

Indoor mask edict a ‘handbrake’ on Victorians returning to the office

Business leaders say an ongoing order to wear face masks in the office is deterring tens of thousands of Victorian employees from returning to work, as the state takes another step out of lockdown.

Despite Victoria recording two consecutive days of no new coronavirus cases and three cases in the past six days, infectious diseases experts said masks in the office remained useful to rule out the “tiny chance” outbreaks had not been entirely crushed.

Despite a number of eased restrictions, masks remain mandatory for office workers.Credit:Eddie Jim

Read the full story here.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning and thanks for reading our live coverage. I’m Broede Carmody and it’s Thursday, June 24.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Sydneysiders are waking up to the toughest coronavirus restrictions in months. Masks are mandatory in all indoor settings, residents of seven local government areas are forbidden from leaving metropolitan Sydney and Premier Gladys Berejiklian hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a citywide lockdown. Sixteen new infections were announced yesterday.
  • Meanwhile, Melburnians are preparing to welcome up to 15 visitors in their homes after weeks of lockdown. COVID-19 restrictions in the southern city will ease from 11.59am tonight.
  • Queensland has declared all of Greater Sydney a COVID-19 hotspot. The ruling has dashed many people’s school holiday plans given the border has been slammed shut for travellers from Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
  • New Zealand has raised the coronavirus alert level in Wellington after an Australian tourist tested positive to COVID-19 after visiting over the weekend. Level two restrictions are now in place in the NZ capital, meaning social distancing rules have been implemented but schools and businesses remain open for now.
  • And in other overseas news, the UK has denied Russia’s claims that warning shots were fired at a British warship in the Black Sea.
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