Melbourne joins Sydney in putting the city on lockdown, with 12 million people being told to stay at home.
In an effort to contain a rapidly expanding coronavirus outbreak, Australia’s second largest city will close late Thursday, raising the total number of Australians on stay-at-home orders to approximately 12 million.
As Australia confronts an outbreak of the Delta variety, Melbourne and the rest of Victoria will join Sydney in a “hard and fast” lockdown, according to state premier Dan Andrews.
In the previous month, the predominantly Covid-free country has seen roughly 1,000 cases of the strain across the country.
Andrews admitted that he made the decision to put Melbourne on its fifth lockdown “with a heavy heart,” but that it was a “absolute necessity.”
“Nothing about this virus is fair,” he said, noting how only 18 cases in Victoria had mixed with thousands of contacts who needed to be tracked down and examined.
He said, “You only get one shot to go hard and go fast.”
“If you wait, if you hesitate, if you are unsure, you will always look back and wish you had done more sooner.”
On Thursday, shortly before midnight local time, a five-day lockdown will begin.
After the virus transmitted from international aviation workers to their local driver in mid-June, Australia’s largest city, Sydney, is already in its fourth week of lockdown.
Authorities in Sydney said the situation had “stabilized” on Thursday, despite the fact that 65 new cases had been detected in the previous 24 hours.
However, the lockdown will be extended for another two weeks in order to prevent any community transmission.
Australia was praised for its quick response to the epidemic and successful “Covid zero” approach.
However, due to a painfully sluggish vaccination introduction, only 10% of the population is now protected, even as many other developed countries begin to reopen.
The lockdown laws are less strict than those in place in several other countries.
Citizens of Sydney are permitted to leave their homes for purposes such as exercise, essential shopping, employment, or health, however schools are closed and residents are asked to stay at home.
Australia’s borders have been largely blocked to all non-essential travel in and out since March 2020.
The number of persons allowed to enter the country has been reduced to 3,000 each week beginning of this month.
Approximately 250,000 tourists arrived each week before any restrictions were imposed.
Despite the limits and a statutory 14-day quarantine for most travelers, the virus broke free from insufficient hotel quarantine facilities and spread across the neighborhood.
As local epidemics are brought under control, a quarantine-free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been interrupted multiple times.
Wellington authorities announced flights from on Thursday. Brief News from Washington Newsday.