Media coverage: Sydney Morning Herald
A lockdown restricting the movement of people is critical to stemming the spread of COVID-19. The virus jumps from person to person after close contact, while it can also live on surfaces for long periods. By temporarily changing behaviour through physical distancing, people can slow the rate of infection. The practice has worked against outbreaks in the past, including the Spanish Flu of 1918. While the curve is flattening, experts say the virus cannot be defeated without a vaccine, which could still be 18 months away. Until then, social distancing will save lives by preventing a surge of cases overwhelming the healthcare system.
NSW Council for Civil Liberties spokesman Stephen Blanks said the restrictions were justified to keep the community safe from the pandemic, but that they should only be in place "so long as they are appropriate."
"These restrictions are extreme and extraordinary. We've certainly never had anything like this in our lifetime," he said. "When it is safe for them to be lifted, then they should be."
On Thursday (2nd April) Fuller said the NSW lockdown, supported by the enhanced police powers, would continue for 90 days, ending by June 30. He added that he would not seek to extend them. Berejiklian has confirmed the number of new cases has continued to stabilise, but said restrictions in NSW could be in place for as long as six months.