New South Wales has recorded 145 community cases of Covid-19 overnight as the state's outbreak continues to escalate, with 51 of those cases infectious while in the community.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian again pleaded with residents to comply with public health orders and said no further decisions on extending the Sydney lockdown would be made today.
Meanwhile, lockdowns in both Victoria and South Australia are set to end at midnight Tuesday providing no unexpected developments. Tough restrictions will likely remain in place.
In Queensland, authorities are on high alert after an infected Sydneysider defied health orders and flew to the state despite not being permitted to leave Sydney. The man has emerged as the "missing link" to a Qantas flight attendant who has tested positive to the Delta strain.
New South Wales has confirmed 145 new Covid cases overnight as the state's outbreak continues to escalate, with 51 of those cases infectious while in the community. The source of infection for 79 cases is under investigation.
Health experts have repeatedly flagged that the number of cases mingling in the community while infectious is a key area of concern.
While rumours had circulated that the lockdown could be extended again today, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said no further announcements would be made today about extending current restrictions beyond this Friday.
"We hope to provide announcement or updates to the community in the next few days," she said. "Our mission is to keep the community as safe as possible but also make sure the community can live as freely as we can."
There have now been 2,226 infections linked to the Sydney outbreak, and anti-lockdown protests over the weekend threaten further community transmission in the state.
"I am utterly disgusted by the illegal protestors in the city today whose selfish actions have compromised the safety of all of us," Berejiklian said in a statement. "The protestors have shown utter contempt for their fellow citizens who are currently doing it tough."
Epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws told ABC News this morning that NSW "haven't reached the peak yet" and the state could be facing a lockdown that stretches into September.
"It will take a couple of days after the weekend to see whether or not we're actually seeing a decrease in that test-positive rate. If we start seeing that decrease, then we can then say it will take us about as long as it's taken now – which was a month, or a month and a half – to get to that peak, and it usually takes about another month and a half to go down," she said.
"But it's usually a long tail to get to zero, a very long tail. But if we're in very hard lockdown, that sharp decline will happen faster because we won't be allowed out.
"So, I know it sounds awful, but if we want to get out faster, we need the lockdown to be a little bit tighter, such as curfews, for example. Or we need workplace testing, if we're getting more cases happening at the workplace, at that essential workplace."
Extremely low rates of community transmission due to almost 20,000 Victorians following isolation orders have meant the state will likely end its fifth lockdown on Tuesday at midnight.
Victoria recorded 11 community cases of Covid-19 cases today, with all of those cases linked to current outbreaks and all in quarantine throughout their infectious periods. The state's number of active cases stands at 190.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the lockdown was on track to be lifted on time.
"On the data we have now, on the trend that we've seen unfold over recent days, the strategy is working and we are on track," he said.
Despite fears of an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne over the weekend being a Covid-19 super spreader event, Andrews said it was unlikely to have an impact on the lockdown being lifted.
Restrictions would continue beyond Tuesday, Andrews said, but "the exact nature of that, that's got to be worked through".
Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said today the end of the lockdown had not yet been finalised and that the decision would be based on "the most up to date and accurate of data and advice from our public health teams".
Victoria has now recorded 180 cases linked to the two outbreaks that jumped the border from Sydney's Delta outbreak – one from a team of Sydney removalists that transited through the state and the other a family who returned to Melbourne's north from a NSW red zone.
More than 20,000 primary close contacts have been identified during the state's latest outbreak, with 4300 of those cleared from isolation so far.
Andrews is expected to announce the end of the state's lockdown today or tomorrow.
Queensland recorded one new community case of Covid-19 today – a man who travelled back to the state from China.
The man had completed a full 14-day quarantine period in a hotel and was fully vaccinated. He tested positive following his return home, and his immediate family have also been placed into quarantine. All family members have so far tested negative, but are continuing to be monitored.
It is not yet known if the man contracted the virus in China, in hotel quarantine or in the Queensland community.
Health authorities are also on alert after a Sydney man who allegedly entered the state illegally was identified as the source of infection for a Qantas flight attendant who later tested positive for Covid-19.
The man flew from Sydney to Ballina in NSW on July 14, where he was picked up from the Ballina airport by a Qantas flight attendant.
The woman was permitted to cross the border but the man was not allowed to enter Queensland. The man was a close contact of another person in Sydney who had coronavirus.
Alarmingly, it is understood the man was moving freely in the community for seven days while infectious, the Courier-Mail reports.
South Australia Steven Marshall confirmed today that the state's seven-day lockdown would lift at midnight tomorrow as planned.
The announcement came after the state recorded one new community case of Covid-19 who was in isolation during their infectious period.
Speaking on morning radio on Monday, Marshall hinted SA could expect "positive news" and said there was no "serious escalation" in the state's Covid-19 situation.
The Premier said he wanted children back at school and the construction and hospitality industries to restart, as a large number of people endured "a huge amount of pain" over the past week.
He did not detail how the state would ease the lockdown restrictions but said it would be a gradual process.
"We want to return to as much of normality as possible without taking unnecessary risks," Marshall told ABC Radio.
"We won't be going back to exactly were we were, which was the lowest level of restrictions in the entire country."