Dan Andrews calls for ‘ring of steel’ around Sydney as NSW declares a national emergency

A national emergency has been declared after NSW recorded its highest number of daily cases since the Bondi outbreak began.

The state saw 136 new Covid cases and the death of an 89-year-old man who had Covid.

Cumberland and Blacktown will be subject to the stricter movement restrictions alongside southwest Sydney.

“The crisis cabinet meeting of the NSW Government met this morning where (chief health officer) Dr Chant and her team advised us that the situation that exists now in NSW, namely, around southwestern and now western Sydney suburbs, is regarded as a national emergency,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

Berejiklian has called on the federal government to prioritise vaccines for south-west Sydney.

“There is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage,” she said.

“It is fairly apparent that we will not be close to [ending lockdown] next Friday.

“We also have to acknowledge that we need to contain the spread of the virus, and that is critical at this time.”

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said they had not seen the turnaround “that we would have liked to see at this stage”.

“I have requested that what we urgently focus on is redirecting all of the vaccine initiatives to south-western Sydney, and western Sydney, particularly the affected local government areas,” she said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called for Sydney to be locked off from the nation while the virus remains a threat.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said his state was ready to provide “any help we can” but stopped short of donating extra vaccines from Victoria to NSW.

But he did call for Sydneysiders to be “locked into Sydney”.

“We need a ring of steel around Sydney so this virus isn’t spread around our nation,” he said.

“We will finish up with the whole country locked down if we don’t deal with this.

“If it is a national emergency there is a national responsibility to contain it now. We did it last year, the same must happen with Sydney.”

Andrews also suggested that Victoria is on track to end its lockdown on July 27.

“The trend is with us, the results are very encouraging,” he said.

“Whether it continues that way well only know with the passage of time.”