Number that would trigger NSW lockdown


The number of daily coronavirus cases that would need to be recorded in NSW in order to send the state back into lockdown has been agreed on by Gladys Berejiklian's cabinet.

Senior ministers in the NSW Premier's agreed that the state could withstand 250 daily cases before lockdown restrictions not seen since May are reimposed, The Sun Herald reported.

Despite there being no consensus on the total which would trigger a second lockdown, a senior unnamed cabinet member reportedly nominated the figure of 250 and cabinet colleagues agreed.

Informal discussions among Ms Berejiklian's cabinet members have been ensuing as NSW nervously eyes each day's new case numbers for signs of a Victoria-like spike.

However, ministers and the Premier would have to listen to NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant, whose cautious approach would suggest she might urge lockdown at a much lower daily case number.

In the last 24 hours, NSW recorded 14 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number to 3479.

Just three were from hotel quarantine, six new cases are linked to the Thai Rock restaurant cluster in Wetherill Park, and two of those also linked to the Our Lady of Lebanon church, Harris Park outbreak.

Some senior members of Gladys Berejiklian’s cabinet say 250 daily new cases would trigger a second lockdown in NSW. Picture: Gaye Gerard/NewsWire
Some senior members of Gladys Berejiklian’s cabinet say 250 daily new cases would trigger a second lockdown in NSW. Picture: Gaye Gerard/NewsWire

Four are related to funeral and church services that occurred in south western Sydney between July 16 and 19.

The NSW Department of Health confirmed only one case was under investigation regarding its origin.

The NSW death toll from COVID-19 remains at 51.

No new cases were associated with the Crossroads Hotel or Batemans Bay Soldiers Club cluster outbreaks.

Victoria had its deadliest day yet, with ten new virus-related deaths, including a man aged in his 40s, bringing the state's coronavirus death toll to 71.

Victoria has recorded 459 new COVID-19 cases.


Despite rumours of a new lockdown in NSW, Premier Berejiklian has sought to reassure the state that won't happen.

"Every time we have an outbreak, we can't afford to lockdown, reopen, lockdown, reopen," she said in mid-July.

"That is no way to live and that is no way to be able to instil confidence to businesses to keep employing people."

University of NSW Professor Mary-Louise McLaws has said previously that NSW will have to record 100 community transmissions over a 14-day period - when contact tracers and hospitals would be nearing their rapid-response capacity - to warrant tighter restrictions being put in place.

Professor of infectious diseases at the University of Sydney, Robert Booy, told The Guardian authorities "have to be considering the long term" when making decisions about reinstating measures, also arguing growing infections in NSW did not justify increased restrictions yet.

Professor McLaws has urged NSW to introduce mask wearing on public transport and in places where social distancing is difficult, such as shopping centres.

Originally published as Number that would trigger NSW lockdown