Residents of southwest Sydney ignoring lockdown, mobility data shows


But the degree of displacement reduction differs considerably from one LGA to another.

In Liverpool, retail and leisure activity is around 17% below its pre-pandemic baseline, while workplace activity is around 16% below baseline .

In contrast, workplace and retail activities in Waverley Council, which includes Bondi and many associated sites at the start of the current wave, are nearly 70% below pre-pandemic levels. , suggesting that local residents heeded government guidelines. to reduce unnecessary movement.

The only area where the drop in activity has been more acute is the city of Sydney, where the shift to working from home has seen workers leave the CBD and mobility drop to its lowest level since April last year.

Prime Minister Berejiklian called on residents of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool to stay at home, and revealed the government was considering placing further restrictions on residents of the three LGAs.

But further restrictions would be devastating for Phil and Laura Varrica, owners of Cafe Harvest in Bonnyrigg Heights, which is part of the Fairfield LGA. The couple have laid off eight employees since the current lockdown began and have had to dip into their savings to pay for annual leave entitlements for affected workers.

Mr Varrica said there was a double standard in the current lockdown, which he said favored non-essential retailers in malls who had done “good deals” during the lockdown while suburban operators offering a catering offering like Cafe Harvest suffered.

“Why are [shopping centres] allowed to be open… closed for a week or two but closed everyone, ”he said.

Mr Varrica said the local community took the threat of the virus seriously.

“People respect [the restrictions] because they don’t want to get sick, ”he said.

Australian National University infectious disease expert Peter Collignon said he believed the NSW government had ‘got the right balance’ between addressing the health situation and preventing it. costs associated with “the most drastic of restrictions”.

“The restrictions weren’t as severe as Victoria, for example, in that you can go out for entertainment and I think that’s totally appropriate. Outdoor spread is minimal as long as you don’t end up in large groups and keep your distance from others.

“The reality is that one of these restrictions is socially and economically damaging. So if you can do something, like get out, it’s minimal risk, not zero risk, but minimal risk, that’s good for people’s psyche.

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