Calls for simplification of lockdown rules across Greater Sydney
There are calls to simplify lockdown rules and tackle language barriers across Greater Sydney, as the Covid-19 outbreak continues to grow.
At a news conference on Sunday, MPs criticized the ever-changing Covid-19 regulations as “confusing”, and particularly difficult to understand for those without English as a first language.
The New South Wales government previously said language issues and mistrust about government and police in immigrant communities was one of the problems behind the growing outbreak in Sydney.
Rep. Michelle Rowland, Shadow Secretary for Communications and a member of Greenway, which includes areas such as Blacktown and Prospect, said the language barrier is an issue that must be dealt with urgently in order to ensure compliance with the rules.
“People want to do the right thing,” Roland said. “No one wants to be in lockdown…
“I represent an electorate where nearly half of the population speaks a language other than English at home, and when I look for some information on publicly available websites, it is easier to find specific information in Icelandic than in Tamil.
“This should not happen. We need to make sure that everyone in our community understands the rules and can access information as quickly as possible.
“We need to make sure that everyone in our community understands the rules.”
Related: Where Covid-19 is most prevalent
Also speaking to the media on Sunday was the Labor MP for McMahon, Chris Bowen, who has urged the government to simplify the rules.
“The rules are complicated,” he said. “At one point, I now have four LGAs to represent and I have three sets of rules to try and explain to people, and I even find them confusing.
“There are different rules that have emerged about mask wearing that have now been clarified, which is that you don’t have to wear a mask when you are alone in the car or when you are doing hard exercise.
Mr Bowen said it made sense for the rules to be clear to Sydney residents.
“So let’s make the rules as simple as possible,” Mr. Bowen said.
“Everyone wants to do the right thing. Ninety-nine percent of people want to do the right thing, no matter where they live, no matter their background. We all want to get over this as quickly as possible. The simpler the rules, the more consistent they are. It was easier for people to comply with it.”
Mr. Bowen also posted on his Facebook page today: “There is a lot of confusion about the new mask-wearing rules in Fairfield, Cumberland, Blacktown and other LGA rules announced. And fair enough, because it’s baffling!”
Under the new rules, masks must be worn whenever you leave the house (including walking your dogs at 6.30am in the cold, when you won’t run into anyone else!).
“But there are exceptions for strenuous exercise (running, cycling, etc.). (Although this is not made clear on the NSW government website, it has been made public).”