Don’t call it a lockdown – why Gladys Berejiklian avoided THAT word for Sydney’s new restrictions

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Just don’t call it a lockdown: Why Gladys Berejiklian avoided using THAT word to describe Sydney’s new seven-day Covid restriction

  • People living/working in Sydney, Randwick, Waverley, Woollahra told stay home
  • The new Covid restriction for Sydney will be in place until Friday, July 2 
  • But the NSW Premier avoided using the word ‘lockdown’ in her announcement
  • Social media noticed and came up with a bunch of funny and sharp responses  



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The word ‘lockdown’ wasn’t used to describe the new Covid restrictions for Sydneysiders living or working in four local government areas during Friday’s Covid press conference – but it hardly mattered.

Before Gladys Berejiklian’s 11am Covid press conference – with its announcement of a ‘seven day stay at home order’ for half a million Sydneysiders – was even over, social media users jumped on the fact she didn’t pull the trigger, at least on that word. 

From 11:59 on Friday, people who live or have worked part-time or full time in the past two weeks in Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and the City of Sydney will only be able to leave home for approved reasons.

Just don’t call it a lockdown, maybe ‘sparkling metropolitan confinement’ sounds better? 

Meme-makers went to work reacting to news of the 'stay at home order' for people working and living in Sydney's east on Friday

Meme-makers went to work reacting to news of the 'stay at home order' for people working and living in Sydney's east on Friday

Creative social media users tried to come up with other words to wat is obviously a lockdown

Creative social media users tried to come up with other words to wat is obviously a lockdown

Meme-makers went to work reacting to news of the ‘stay at home order’ for people working and living in Sydney’s east on Friday, while creative social media users tried to come up with other words to wat is obviously a lockdown

They include work (if it can’t be done from home), to exercise in groups of 10 or less, education (if it can’t be done from home), to go shopping for essential goods and sevices, to provide essential care to someone. 

None essential businesses in those areas will also be shut down and restaurants can only supply takeaway food. 

The hashtag #dontcallitalockdown started appearing, while plenty of users pitched their own alternatives to having a ‘lockdown’, while the meme-makers went to work. 

Whatever you call it, Sydney definitely has a lockdown vibe right now

Whatever you call it, Sydney definitely has a lockdown vibe right now

Some of the big differences between Melbourne and Sydney. Victoria has lockdowns, but Sydney has 'stay at home orders'

Some of the big differences between Melbourne and Sydney. Victoria has lockdowns, but Sydney has 'stay at home orders'

Some of the big differences between Melbourne and Sydney. Victoria has lockdowns, but Sydney has ‘stay at home orders’. Whatever you call it, Sydney definitely has a lockdown vibe right now

Some social media users figured people wouldn't be feeling too sorry for Bondi

Some social media users figured people wouldn't be feeling too sorry for Bondi

Some social media users figured people wouldn’t be feeling too sorry for Bondi

One suggested it could be called a ‘Covid movement restriction horizon’, while another noted it could be called ‘sparkling home-based living’, or ‘sparkling metropolitan confinement’.

Another said ‘lockdown’ could now be added to words Victoria uses but NSW doesn’t, ‘Melbourne: pot, potato cake, lockdown’; Sydney: middy, potato scallop, stay at home order’.

Others called it Sydney’s ‘Clayton lockdown’ or ‘the lockdown when you’re not having a lockdown’. 

The absence of the word 'lockdown' by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant - when they put parts of the city into lockdown - did not go unnoticed on social media on Friday

The absence of the word 'lockdown' by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant - when they put parts of the city into lockdown - did not go unnoticed on social media on Friday

The absence of the word ‘lockdown’ by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant – when they put parts of the city into lockdown – did not go unnoticed on social media on Friday 

Some speculated politics was the reason the word lockdown wasn’t used – arguably so the Premier could continue to argue NSW had fared much better than, say Victoria – which had four lockdowns in 12 months.

There wasn’t much sympathy for Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs on show on social media, which has been relatively unscathed by Covid since mid-2020 – especially from Victorians.

But some from Sydney’s east also welcome their popular suburbs being quieter than usual. 

Some beach-side residents were wondering if a lockdown would really be so bad, so long as they could go to the beach

Some beach-side residents were wondering if a lockdown would really be so bad, so long as they could go to the beach

Some beach-side residents were wondering if a lockdown would really be so bad, so long as they could go to the beach

Confusion about what the lockdown means confused plenty of people too, especially what a household does that has people working inside and outside an LGA under lockdown.

A Sydney photographer posted this question on Instagram: ‘Joe works as a gardener. Joe lives in Bankstown, but does jobs around Sydney CBD.’

‘Does Joe now lose his livelihood and lockdown or does he keep doing his jobs outside the 4 areas? Does Joe’s family lockdown too?!?! 

What are the lockdown rules? 

From 11:59 tonight, people who live or have worked part-time or full time in the past two weeks in Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and the City of Sydney will only be able to leave home for:

  • Work if you can’t work from home
  • Exercise in groups of 10 or less outdoors
  • Education if it can’t be done from home
  • To buy essential goods or services
  • To provide essential care to someone  

Non-essential businesses in those areas will be shut down for the next week. Restaurants can supply take-away food.

Full list of exposure sites is here  

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