Singles bubble announced as lockdown extended

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Sydney singles will be allowed to form a bubble with one other person, after they were given confirmation the city’s lockdown would extend for at least four more weeks.

But, outside eight suburbs of concern, there is no limit on the distance single bubble buddies can travel to provide compassionate support.

The singles bubble comes amid concerns for the mental health of hundreds of thousands of Sydney residents who have been isolating alone since the lockdown was imposed last month.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she appreciated the stress people who have been living alone have been under.

“If you have been or are living by yourself, you are allowed to nominate one person that is allowed to visit you, but it has to be the same person,” she said.

“You cannot have a different person every day. You have to nominate that one person that is your buddy or is part of your singles bubble for the next four weeks to make sure that we do not spread the virus.

“We know that apart from workplaces, households remain the biggest problem in NSW.”

Anyone wanting to form a bubble who lives in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Blacktown and Cumberland, Parramatta, Campbelltown and Georges River must ensure their buddy is also from within that area and within a 10km distance. Anyone outside those suburbs cannot involve anyone from them in their bubble.

Chief health officer Kerry Chant had initially raised concerns about “mobility” encouraged by the bubble, but mental health concerns have outweighed mobility risks.

People with intimate partners have been able to visit them throughout the lockdown, no matter where they live in the state.

NSW recorded 177 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday.

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