Sydney lockdown extended

Given the ongoing number of Covid-19 cases in the community, Greater Sydney’s current lockdown will be extended for at least another two weeks until 11:59pm on Friday, 30 July.

This means the restrictions currently in place across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour will remain in place until this time.

The National Retail Association (NRA) says that the lockdown extension justifies yesterday’s support package, with the full cost now set to hit $5 billion over five weeks.

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb says that affected NSW retailers are losing a combined total of $1 billion for each week of lockdown.

“When prolonged lockdowns are needed to contain Covid outbreaks, then businesses need corresponding support to survive,” she says.

“NSW retailers are very appreciative that the state and federal governments cooperated to announce a relief package in excess of $5 billion yesterday. While our affected members would prefer not to be in this position to begin with, it does provide assistance that will help many keep their heads above water for the time being.

“Each week this lockdown continues affected retailers lose a combined $1 billion in sales. Even if restrictions are lifted on July 30, we’re still looking at an accumulated hit of $5 billion plus consumer confidence does not rebound overnight.”

Ms Lamb also says that further assistance would be required if the NSW lockdown continues beyond July 30.

“The Greater Sydney region is the biggest economic centre in the country. Any impact to this area with regards to business or jobs losses is bound to have a domino effect across the country,” she says.

“Until restrictions in these areas can be lifted both the state and federal governments need to closely monitor the economic fallout. This absolutely means that further business assistance may be needed.”

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