IN her daily COVID-19 press conference yesterday morning, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she wanted the present restrictions to be "the last lockdown until we get the majority of our citizens vaccinated'.
Ms Berejiklian said she hoped to be able to say today whether "it finishes on Friday or whether we continue for a period longer".
The government faced criticism from some quarters for the time it took to lock down Greater Sydney (including the Central Coast, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra) given the dramatically more infectious qualities of the Delta strain of the virus.
Happily, case numbers have stayed at manageable numbers: 133 last week, and 164 so far this week, according to NSW Health figures.
Yesterday it seemed there was a good chance the premier would scale things back, but we now expect the lockdown will continue for another week.
Yesterday, pointing to "other jurisdictions around world", Ms Berejiklian said "we can see that you can't afford to let this get away from you".
She's right, but as Australia remains closed to the world with just 25 per cent of the adult population at least partly vaccinated, our Anglosphere cousins the United States and the United Kingdom are preparing to throw open their windows with infection rates that would send this country into political meltdown.
Latest figures indicate that both countries have about half of their populations fully vaccinated, while about two-thirds have had one shot.
Daily cases in the US are only one-tenth of their December to January peaks, but they are rising again, and with the Delta variant in the mix.
In the UK, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a "freedom day" end to all restrictions on July 19, case numbers have risen tenfold since late May to hit 27,000 on Monday, with predictions of 50,000 daily by "freedom day" on July 19.
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Given that UK cases peaked on January 8 at 68,000, this latest increase is substantial.
Yet even as infection rates increase, Mr Johnson wants to shift the narrative from unpopular government orders to people taking responsibility for their actions.
Such a shift must happen here when vaccination rates hit an agreed "herd immunity", but we will have to switch from "eradication" to "minimisation" if we are going to learn to "live with the virus".
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