Sydney adds another four weeks of lockdown

Australia's biggest city, Sydney, has extended its COVID-19 lockdown for another four weeks after a stay-at-home order failed to slow infections.

The country's most populous state New South Wales reported 177 new cases for Tuesday. At least 46 of the new cases were people active in the community before being diagnosed, raising the likelihood of transmission.

NSW State Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned of tougher policing to stamp out non-compliance and added that police would boost enforcement of wide-ranging social distancing rules.

In Sydney's southwest, reactions to the lockdown extension were mixed:

"It's alright but it's a bit hard for everybody else, you know, but Gladys is doing a good job, she is."

"There's a lot of people out there that have lost their jobs and paying off houses, paying off a lot of things and to say 'You know what, let's extend it a month', like, cases are always going to be going up and down but there's got to be other ways."

The extension turns what was initially intended to be a "snap" lockdown but has turned into one of the country's longest since the start of the pandemic, and may spark the second recession in two years, according to economists.

Opinion polls have showed slipping support for Prime Minister Scott Morrison's government amid criticism of a slow vaccination roll-out that has been blamed on changing regulatory advice and supply shortages.

The current outbreak was sparked by an unmasked, unvaccinated airport driver.

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