Australia : Brisbane under lockdown as cases of Delta variant are detected
Australia’s third-largest city of Brisbane and other parts of Queensland state will enter a snap Covid-19 lockdown from Saturday as authorities race to contain an emerging outbreak of the Delta strain.
Millions of residents in the city and several other areas will be placed under stay-at-home orders from Saturday afternoon for three days, state Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
A 10km radius limit will apply for people leaving home for shopping or exercise and for the first time in Queensland masks have been mandated for students and staff at high school.
Those under lockdown can only leave home:
- to obtain essential goods such as groceries and medications
- for essential work, school or childcare
- to exercise with a maximum of one other person from another household
- to get health care or provide care to another person
- or get vaccinated or tested.
Six new cases were reported Saturday in a cluster of the Delta variant initially linked to a school student, resulting in pupils and teachers at two schools being placed into isolation.
Some 1,000 police officers are on standby in Sydney to respond to any anti-lockdown demonstrators after a violent protest last weekend, said New South Wales state Deputy Police Commissioner Michael Willing. He said 85 people had been charged over last weekend’s event.
The lockdown is due to last three days and will force the cancellation of matches in the Australian Football League and the National Rugby League, which had been relocated to Queensland because of the impact of the virus elsewhere.
The country’s vaccine rollout has been tardy in comparison with other developed nations such as the U.S. and U.K., with only enough doses to cover 23% of the population administered.