The Hunter has been placed into a week-long lockdown, after 5 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in the region overnight.

New restrictions will be introduced for Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Stephens, Singleton, Dungog, Muswellbrook and Cessnock from 5pm today until 12.01am Friday 13 August.

Stay-at-home orders will apply to all people who live in these areas, or have been there on or after 31 July 2021.

Everyone in these areas must stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse to leave.

They also cannot have visitors in their home, except in limited circumstances.

As per NSW Health guidelines, the reasons you may leave your home include to:

• Obtain food or other goods and services – In your local government area or within 10km of your home, if reasonably practicable
– Only one person per household may leave the home to obtain food or other goods and services each day (you may take a dependent person with you
if that person cannot be left at home on their own).

• Leave home to go to work if:
– You cannot reasonably work from home
– The business is allowed to be open

• Leave home for education if it is not possible to do it at home, noting that schools will only be open for children of parents who cannot work from home.

• Exercise and take outdoor recreation within your local government area or up to 10km from your home.

• Go out for medical or caring reasons, including for a COVID-19 test or vaccination.

Closure of retail businesses

• Retail premises will be required to close (‘click and collect’, takeaway and home delivery can still operate), except for critical retail.

• Masks must be worn in all indoor areas (not including the home) and in certain outdoor settings, such as all people working outdoors or while queuing for takeaway or shopping for critical items.

• Masks do not have to be worn while travelling in a car alone or with members of your household in a car, or while exercising vigorously.

• Masks must be carried whenever a person is away from their home, even if they are not required to be wearing it.