Sydney’s lockdown extended to 28 August, new business support announced

Sydney’s lockdown will continue for at least another four weeks, according to Premier Gladys Berejiklian, as the city’s Covid crisis worsened: hitting 177 cases on Wednesday.

Berejiklian said she appreciated what she is asking of Sydneysiders, but that it had to be done to keep the city safe.

“We really need people to do the right thing at all times,” Berejiklian said.

“Thank you for your patience.”

National retailers were able to open their doors in Victoria and South Australia today, but will need to keep stores closed in the country’s biggest city for another month at minimum – which has reignited calls for further business support from the state and federal government.

However, the federal government has made it clear to the NSW state government that JobKeeper is “off the table”, and as such, a new wave of fiscal support for businesses and improvements to the Covid Disaster Payment are incoming and will cover gaps found in the original scheme which left some people in need not covered.

“The NSW Treasurer and myself have spent hours and hours speaking with the federal government about financial assistance stopped let me make it clear, it was made clear to us some weeks ago that JobKeeper was off the table,” Berejiklian said.

“Please know, we fought our guts out for these extra payments and I am glad they are here and I do say they will keep us going.”

For businesses, an expansion of the JobSaver program will see an increase in the amount paid to $100,000 a week, from $10,000, and will shift which businesses are eligible from those which earn up to $50 million to those earning $250 million a year.

More to come.

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