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Charges for man who sparked Byron lockdown as grim news continues in NSW

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A 52-year-old COVID positive Sydney man who travelled to Byron Bay sparking a lockdown in the region will be charged in his hospital bed with breaching public health orders.

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Zoran Radovanovic from Rose Bay in Sydney’s east, will be served with a court attendance notice at Lismore Base Hospital on Wednesday, where he is being treated for COVID-19.

Police allege he travelled with his two children to the beach town on the NSW north coast from Sydney last month without a reasonable excuse and in violation of public health orders.

The man and his children were circulating in the area for days before testing positive for COVID-19. The cases plunged Byron Bay and surrounding areas into a seven-day lockdown on Monday with various exposure sites listed by NSW Health.

Radovanovic has been granted strict conditional bail and will appear in Lismore Court on September 13.

It comes as the NSW government announced Dubbo in the state’s central west would also enter a snap one week lockdown on Wednesday afternoon.

The NSW Hunter, Byron Bay, Armidale and Tamworth areas are also enduring snap lockdowns, and the federal government on Wednesday added Tamworth and Armidale to the areas eligible for COVID disaster payments.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Dubbo’s lockdown would begin at 1pm on Wednesday after a woman in her 40s and a young child from the same household tested positive to COVID-19.

About 38,000 people living in Dubbo and surrounds were already on high alert after authorities found fragments of the virus in wastewater in Dubbo and nearby Mudgee at the weekend, and Dubbo West Public School was closed on Wednesday after a case there.

The premier also foreshadowed the Hunter New England region, which had 14 cases overnight, would remain in lockdown.

“The Hunter doesn’t look like it will come out of lockdown later this week, however we will wait on health advice,” she said.

There were more “positive signs” for Armidale, Tamworth and the Northern Rivers, where no new cases were recorded.

NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said the source of the Dubbo cases was being investigated.

“The community has been responding to testing but we need to redouble efforts so we can identify the source,” she said.

NSW recorded 344 cases on Wednesday with 101 infectious in the community for part or all of their infectious period.

Chant was scathing about reports people were travelling from Sydney to the regions to be vaccinated.

“I am appalled that people would think, at this point in time, that is okay,” she said.

“I don’t see that is a reasonable reason to travel many hours for that.”

Victoria has also introduced a permit system for a fourteen day period, for travellers moving into the state from NSW border communities.

Residents needing to travel in the “border bubble” will need to apply for a permit from Thursday, with enforcement to take place from Friday night.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said it was “important that we don’t only limit movement that we have the clearest picture of who is moving within that .. bubble”.

Meanwhile, a case has been recorded in Shellharbour in the south of NSW – a person who travelled to Sydney for work.

NSW Health said the new cases included two people from the Central Coast and one from Northern NSW.

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