NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has refused to provide further clarification on what is considered an essential business even as retail stores like florists and lingerie outlets across Sydney remain open.
“Things are going to get worse before they get better,” she said on Saturday.
, with browsing at shops now not permitted. People are encouraged to plan before they shop, and to Click and Collect where possible. Only one person per household is allowed to leave the house to visit the shops per day.
When Berejiklian was pressed by a reporter on whether ‘essential stores’ needed to be defined, she sidestepped the question.
“I think what is important to note is we don't want anyone leaving their home unless you absolutely have to – that's the bottom line,” she said.
“What we also appreciate is some circumstances people need to attain or essential goods, and we get that, but we know both anecdotally ... and certainly what police are reporting that most retail outlets at the moment are completely empty.”
Berejiklian said cases of COVID-19 had been discovered in instances where people were “gathering together where they shouldn’t be”.
“Please don't think you are an exception. Please assume every time you leave the house that you have COVID or you are in contact with someone with the virus,” she added.
“The basic message is: Stay home.”
Sydneysiders in lockdown should also be aware that police presence may “absolutely” be at supermarkets to enforce compliance with the new COVID-19 restrictions.
“Police will attend locations where they think people don't want to comply, absolutely they will, and they have been in supermarkets,” NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Worboys said on Saturday.
“They have been in shopping centres right across New South Wales and they will continue to do that.”