Gladys Berejiklian's plan to end lockdown as Sydney outbreak explodes

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Case numbers continue to soar. Picture: Rachael Tosh-ProvanSource:NCA NewsWire

Any “adjustments” to restrictions may be outlined on July 31 when Sydney’s lockdown is due to end, but as case numbers continue to soar there are concerns it will be extended.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the “real key” to freedom was having a high percentage of residents fully vaccinated, and she hoped to outline the steps out of lockdown late next week.

“We're not there yet but from July 31 we hope to be able to explain to the community what we can do in relation to adjusting those settings (restrictions),” she said.

Ms Berejiklian was asked about lifting tough lockdown measures for the construction industry and allowing children to return to school as an initial step.

“Know the NSW government is working hard to see what restrictions we can ease from July 31,” she said.

“That will depend very much on the data we get … over the weekend and early next week.

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Lockdown could last until September, experts fear. Picture: Rachael Tosh-ProvanSource:NCA NewsWire

“We’ll look closely at that but it will be based on the health advice. It will be based on how many infections we have in the community.”

NSW recorded another 124 cases on Thursday, the highest daily figure since the latest outbreak began. Of those, 48 were in the community for their full infectious period.

An infectious disease expert on Thursday said NSW could experience a drop in Covid case numbers as soon as this weekend.

Dr Sanjaya Senanayake told Sunrise that the stricter lockdown measures, such as the closure of non-essential retail brought in last weekend, could be reflected in the numbers from the end of the week.

“One thing that’s important to remember is the new restrictions were brought in on Sunday,” Dr Senanayake said.

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NSW recorded 124 new cases. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel CarrettSource:News Corp Australia

“Remember the virus has an incubation period of about five days on average, (though) it can be a bit longer, and people have to get tested and then we have to have the announcement at the press conference.

“It may in fact be right at the end of this week and the start of next week that we see the benefits from the new restrictions that were brought in over the weekend.”

The NSW Premier said the government wanted to it gets it right in terms of lifting the lockdown to avoid going back and forth.

“The last thing we want is to be in a stage where we keep going in and out of harsh lockdown,” she said.

“That’s not something we want for our citizens. We want to provide our citizens with certainty and that’s what we’ll do next week.”

Lockdown is scheduled to end on July 31, but some modelling suggests it could last until September.

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