Hurlstone Park cafe owner, Simon Lakis, on what it’s like in Sydney’s pandemic hotspot

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When new restrictions kicked in on Monday in the Canterbury-Bankstown Local Government Area (LGA), residents were eager to abide by the rules, masking up and dutifully keeping their distance.

But there was one problem, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, and that was many residents seemed to have a different version of what the rules were.

Simon Lakis, the owner of Kylon Eatery in Hurlstone Park, told the SMH he initially thought he would have to close his cafe when tough new restrictions were announced for the LGA, because he lived in another unaffected part of Sydney.

He had begun ringing his employees telling them not to come to work when he was informed by a friend he could remain open.

Simon Lakis is the owner of Kylon Eatery in Hurlstone Park. Photo: Facebook.

“I was running around like a madman,” he recalled. “The government is doing everything they can …[but] the messages weren’t clear.”

Confusion and chaos have characterised the 72 hours since tougher restrictions were imposed on Canterbury-Bankstown, as well as Fairfield and Liverpool local government areas, the SMH reports.

On Monday, some residents were still under the belief they were ring-fenced inside the council area entirely, even though it has since emerged they can leave for exercise or essential shopping.

On Saturday, only healthcare and emergency services workers could depart the LGA for work but by Sunday that category had ballooned to include teachers and tow-truck drivers.

Gladys Berejiklian announced tougher COVID restrictions for three LGA’s on Saturday.

Others felt it was unfair that pockets that are relatively COVID-free are copping the same restrictions as the epicentre of the outbreak.

Suburbs such as Hurlstone Park, Earlwood, Croydon Park and Canterbury have barely a case between them and are a 28-kilometre drive from virus-ridden Fairfield.

One Hurlstone Park resident, Christian Garcia, who owns two butcheries at opposite ends of the area under stricter lockdown, told the SMH that while his store in Fairfield is struggling, there are a steady stream of customers in Hurlstone Park.

Mr Lakis told the media outlet he also felt fortunate.

“People here, they’re so good to us. They’ll come and get things they don’t need just to support us,” he concluded.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald.

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