Gladys Berejiklian says the New South Wales government will hold crisis talks on Saturday as the list of exposure venues for a growing Covid-19 outbreak expands beyond four council areas subject to lockdown orders.
The state recorded 29 locally transmitted cases up to 8pm on Friday, including 17 cases that were previously announced on Friday.
More than 55,000 people were tested but the NSW premier said “that’s where the good news ends” with only 12 of the 29 new cases in isolation during their infectious period.
Berejiklian said the health advice was evolving and she would hold crisis talks with ministers and health experts on Saturday, warning further action was possible.
“I want to foreshadow that because of the increasing exposure sites that the health advice is evolving,” she said. “If we need to take further action, we will immediately notify the community.”
The list of exposure sites is expanding beyond the Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and the City of Sydney local government areas, which entered a one-week lockdown on Friday night.
It included a workplace outbreak associated with the retail/wholesale business Great Ocean Foods in Marrickville, with staff and their household contacts asked to immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days and customers who had not used the QR code to check in asked to come forward.
The state’s chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said authorities were concerned that delivery drivers to that site had also become infectious, meaning anyone who received a delivery from Monday 21 June to Friday 25 June and their household contacts was also being asked to immediately get tested and isolate until further advice was provided by NSW Health.
Two other venues of concern were the Cheers Bar and Grill on George Street in Sydney, which was attended by a case in the early hours of Sunday 20 June, and the Rebel Sport store in Bankstown, which a case attended between 3.45pm-4.30pm on Thursday 24 June.
“The situation overnight has highlighted that an increasing number of people have been undetected and infectious in the community,” Chant said.
“Largely they were contained in the four LGAs, but now we are seeing the spread to exposure venues outside of those four LGAs, and that is the basis for my growing concern.”
The government reiterated its advice that people who live in the LGAs of City of Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West and Bayside were not permitted to leave metropolitan Sydney.
The health minister, Brad Hazzard, said there was a “growing and more intense concern” from health authorities and the government about the Delta variant of Covid-19.
“The Delta variant is proving to be a very formidable foe,” he said. “No matter what defensive steps we are taking at the moment, the virus seems to understand how to counter-attack in different locations. That’s causing us a high level of concern.”
Four local government areas in Sydney were put in to a one-week lockdown at 11.59pm on Friday after the state recorded 22 cases.
The stay-at-home order applies to anyone who lives in Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and the City of Sydney or who has worked there part-time or permanently in the last fortnight.
All non-essential businesses in the four listed LGAs, which include the CBD, must shut down.
Nightclubs and gyms will also be closed, with exercise limited to groups of 10 outdoors. Intimate partner visits will also be allowed.
All other restrictions in greater Sydney and Wollongong have been extended until midnight on Friday 2 July.
Hazzard also made a new public health order on Friday night enforcing compulsory face masks and at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine for drivers transporting international arrivals, including air crew.
Workers will have three days to get vaccinated before the vaccination order applies from 28 June. The mask order took effect on Friday night.