NSW records 98 new local COVID cases

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has ordered construction sites across Greater Sydney to be locked down.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has ordered construction sites across Greater Sydney to be locked down.

NSW has recorded 98 new local cases of COVID-19 and 37 people were circulating in the community during some or all of their infectious period.

The cases were diagnosed from 75,845 tests carried out in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the number of circulating cases was the number she was "really keen to nudge" lower.

"We need to get ahead of that number in order to reduce the number of cases in the community to zero," she said on Monday.

The premier has warned there could be a lag of between five or six days until the number of COVID-19 cases begins to drop, after the government introduced tough new restrictions.

Tradies across Greater Sydney have now downed tools, with construction sites shutting down for two weeks.

It's the first time the construction industry has been shut anywhere in Australia since the pandemic began and state Labor is calling on the federal government to re-introduce JobKeeper to help businesses and workers survive the harsher measures announced on Saturday.

Labor says the move will cost the NSW economy at least $700 million per week and affect at least 250,000 workers.

People living in Greater Sydney and surrounding regions are in the fourth week of a lockdown after the government imposed a raft of new restrictions, including the ban on all construction work, the closure of non-essential retail outlets not including supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and liquor stores.

Public transport has been scaled back and is now operating on a Sunday timetable, while stay-at-home orders have been tightened in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool areas with locals not allowed to leave until July 30 - unless they are essential workers.

It's estimated the tougher measures have left around 600,000 people without work.

Meanwhile, a second mass vaccination hub has opened at Belmont in Lake Macquarie, with the capacity to vaccinate 20,000 people a week.

NSW Police are targeting Sydney beaches to ensure compliance, with "high-visibility" patrols at Manly Beach, Bondi Beach and other coastal areas to ensure social distancing while people exercise.

Sydney residents are now required to carry a face mask when out of their homes and to wear them when appropriate.

A full list of NSW exposure sites can be found at health.nsw.gov.au

Australian Associated Press