The four New South Wales North Coast local government areas (LGAs) of Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire have tonight joined the list of regional hubs under lockdown following updated health advice.
The four LGAs entered lockdown at 6pm AEST today, and will remain under stay-at-home restrictions until 12.01am Tuesday 17 August, after a positive case was detected in the region.
The new restrictions came into effect just hours after the NSW state government put Tamworth into lockdown at 5pm today, and two days after Armidale entered a snap seven-day lockdown on Saturday.
The rules for these areas will be the same as those already in place across Greater Sydney, as well as Tamworth, Armidale, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Singleton, Dungog, Muswellbrook and Cessnock.
Everyone in these areas must stay at home unless they have a reasonable excuse to leave. They also cannot have visitors in their home from outside their household, including family and friends.
People still can have one visitor at one time to fulfil carers' responsibilities or provide care or assistance, or for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not live together.
People also cannot enter the Byron Shire, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Ballina Shire LGAs without a reasonable excuse to do so.
“We understand this is a difficult time for the community and appreciate their ongoing patience and cooperation,” the NSW Government said.
“We are asking people not to seek exceptions to the rules, but to ensure they comply with them so we do not see further cases of COVID-19 in the community.”
The lockdown comes after a man in his 50s tested positive to COVID-19 after arriving in Byron Shire.
He travelled from Sydney in late July and is currently being treated at Lismore Base Hospital.
The NSW Government has also confirmed the man did not enter Queensland during his infectious period.
Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon said Council was told about the situation this morning and staff are now working with authorities on getting additional testing facilities open, including the Cavanbah Centre on Ewingsdale Road at Byron Bay.
“The first message is - if anyone is not feeling well please, please go and get tested,” Lyon said.
“Details about the positive COVID case are still emerging and NSW Police and NSW Health are working on this.
“While these investigations are being done and information is being gathered people should be making sure they are checking in with QR codes whenever they go into a shop or business, wearing a face mask and social distancing."
Updated at 6.19pm AEST on 9 August 2021.
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