Gladys Berejiklian says NSW wouldn’t have locked down if Vic outbreak happened there

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says she wouldn’t have ordered a statewide lockdown if the Victorian coronavirus outbreak happened on her watch.

Asked on Monday if NSW would be in lockdown if an outbreak such as the current one in Victoria happened, Ms Berejiklian responded it wouldn’t be.

“It’s pretty clear during the pandemic that certain states have a way of doing things, and NSW has a way of doing things. I think the way we dealt with the northern beaches cluster is the way in which NSW tends to deal with these issues,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We avoid a lockdown at all costs. We avoid closing our borders. We allow our citizens as much freedom as we can while managing the virus, and that’s just the way it is.”

She said she wasn’t going to claim “one way of doing things is better than another”, but the NSW approach had worked well for the state so far.

“We have a pretty clear pathway, a clear strategy,” the Premier said.

NSW has had its fair share of coronavirus outbreaks since the pandemic reached Australia, but during recent outbreaks the government hasn’t locked down the entire state.

During the recent outbreak in Sydney’s northern beaches area, centred around the suburb of Avalon, more than 150 people were infected with the virus. But while that local government area was put into lockdown, the rest of the state enjoyed various degrees of normalcy.

Victoria is currently in the middle of a five-day lockdown after a coronavirus outbreak last week began spreading at a speed that worried authorities.

The so-called “circuit breaker” lockdown that started on Friday affects the entire state and means most Victorians aren’t allowed to leave their homes except for essential reasons.

It comes after the state’s residents endured a 16-week lockdown last year. Victoria recorded one new local case of coronavirus transmission on Monday.

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