Premier Gladys Berejiklian has said NSW lockdown laws will remain for at least six months after the state’s police commissioner previously said social distancing restrictions would be lifted after 90 days.
“The time in which these restrictions apply is completely dependent on health advice,” the Premier told media on Friday. “I’m hoping as best case we don’t go beyond what we have now.
“We’re in it for at least six months,” she said. “Until there is a cure, until there is at least a vaccine, this crisis is something we need to deal with. All of us have to come to terms with that.”
Berejiklian’s comments align with what the Prime Minister Scott Morrison has insisted in recent weeks, though on Friday morning he warned the restrictions across Australia “could be longer” than six months.
“It could be longer – I’m trying to prepare the country for the long haul,” the PM said during a radio interview on 2GB.
“We need to ensure people can do this for that long. We don’t want people to get frustrated, but it is going to be tough.”
On Thursday NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said tough social distancing rules that restrict Australians to leaving their home for only four reasons will be in place for at least 90 days in NSW.
“There was a good question yesterday about when is the turn-off period for these orders. It is 90 days,” said Commissioner Fuller.
He said he doesn’t plan to ask for an extension of the period that gives police powers to fine those who disobey the law.
“People will have gotten the message by then, hopefully,” he told media at a press conference.
“And we won’t be talking about the powers, we’ll be talking about what does it look like coming out of this.”
Last week tough restrictions on leaving the house came into play, and authorities confirmed police will issue on the spot fines to enforce social distancing rules.
The government orders mean people in NSW could pay up to $11,000 in court ordered fines.
Public gatherings are now limited to only two people aside from members of your immediate household. The advice is to stay home unless you’re getting groceries, medical attention, picking up medication from a chemist or meeting one other person to exercise.
“It means that if you need to exercise, we get it - go for a walk, sensibly, on your own. You can still meet a personal trainer if you have to,” Commissioner Fuller said last week.