Covid 19 coronavirus: NSW announces tougher restrictions as cases extend to 82

A top Australian epidemiologist has blasted the NSW government for announcing a lockdown “too late”, saying residents are now going to endure longer restrictions.

University of NSW epidemiologist and World Health Organisation adviser, Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, has been pushing for a snap lockdown for Sydney since the early stages of the city’s outbreak.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian repeatedly held off announcing a lockdown, until Sydney’s cluster reached 82 cases on Saturday. Stay-at-home orders were then introduced for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong.

Professor McLaws said the tougher restrictions have come “a little too late” and mean residents are now facing a longer period in lockdown.

“I was hoping I was wrong last week, wishing for a lockdown, a very short one, on day three, because this is a variant of concern,” she told A Current Affair on Saturday night.

“At least it’s happened, but because it’s late people are going to really feel it because its going to have to be for at least 14 days.”

Due to the highly-infectious nature of the Delta variant, Professor McLaws said it is likely cases will begin to emerge in areas outside of Sydney.

“It’s going to be tough and it going to take some time to get it under control,” she said.

Virgin flight crew member tests positive to Covid-19

Urgent alerts have been sent out for flights between Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and the Gold Coast after a Virgin flight crew member tested positive to Covid-19.

“The crew member is now in isolation, and Virgin Australia is rapidly contacting all team members who are close contacts. Virgin Australia is requiring those crew members to cease flying, get tested and isolate,” Virgin Australia said in a statement.

All passengers who were on flights with this crew member are being contacted by health authorities and the aircrafts are undergoing deep cleaning.

“The affected crew member is a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case from a known cluster in Sydney,” Virgin Australia said.

“Virgin Australia understands the crew member was not aware they were a close contact of a positive case until after they completed their last flight today.”

Passengers who are now in NSW and who flew on the following flights at the times listed are considered close contacts and must immediately call NSW Health on 1800 943 553, get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.

Passengers now in other states are asked to check local advice.

VA939 (Virgin): June 25, leaving Sydney at 11.51am (AEST) and arriving in Brisbane at 1.25pm

VA334 (Virgin): June 25, leaving Brisbane at 2.59pm and arriving in Melbourne at 5.16pm

VA827 (Virgin): June 26, leaving Brisbane at 9am and arriving in Sydney at 10.14am

VA517 (Virgin): June 26, leaving Sydney at 11.14am and arriving in the Gold Coast at 12.40pm

VA524 (Virgin): June 26, leaving the Gold Coast at 1.26pm and arriving in Sydney at 2.47pm

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