A new study from the University of Melbourne’s Populations Intervention Unit shows that Sydney will need to stay in lockdown until September to suppress coronavirus case numbers.

Researchers used an updated version of the RoadMap model, developed in 2020 to assist the Victorian Government during Melbourne’s extensive lockdown. The model considers how long the New South Wales lockdown will need to last in order for daily case numbers to reach a manageable level (a 14-day average case number average of 5.)

The study considered how different levels of restrictions would achieve the target of five cases per day. It shows that, under the current Stage 4 Sydney lockdown, that threshold would likely be reached on September 4th. Though the target could be met as early as August 26th, or as late as September 16th.

“Our modelling suggests the ‘Stage 4’ lockdown now put in place [in Greater Sydney] will reduce the number of daily cases to five or less (averaged over 14 days) within 5.8 weeks,” the researchers explained. The model was run 10,000 times to take uncertainties into account.

The model found that under the previous Stage 3 lockdown measures, which were in place across the state between July 9th and 17th, that numbers would not fall until September 21st.

The University of Melbourne’s study is the third model released in recent weeks that shows Sydney’s lockdown will likely run through until August. The Burnett Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne showed that a month of tight Stage 4 restrictions (like those implemented in Melbourne) were needed to get case numbers under 5. Whilst University of Sydney modelling released last week suggested that 80 per cent of the population were isolating as directed, it would take until mid-August to get case numbers below 10.

At a press conference this morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian dismissed the recent modelling. “Modelling has a role and a purpose but what is the most effective tool for us to measure what the result looks like is our own activity,” she said. “The modelling can’t predict how many people will stay in their homes and not be mobile.

“It’s just an indicator for what could happen and different modelling gives you different results.”

You can read the University of Melbourne’s study here.

In the meantime, I’ll be penning a long, hand-written apology to the lady that does my Brazilian wax.