Australian authorities will be placing downtown Sydney and its famous eastern beaches around Bondi on a one-week lockdown, starting Friday midnight, as they try to contain an expanding outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 in its largest city.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian ordered those who live or work in the four local government council areas in Sydney to stay at home.
People are only allowed to leave their homes only for essential work or education, medical reasons, grocery shopping, or outdoor exercise.
“We don’t want to see this situation linger for weeks; we would like to see this situation end sooner rather than later,” Berejiklian told local reporters.
“But what this does is make sure that we haven’t missed any chains of community transmission,” she added.
On Friday, 22 local cases were recorded, the highest number of infections since the first case was discovered in Bondi last Wednesday in a limo driver transporting an international flight crew.
Officials have issued health alerts overnight for more than a dozen new sites across Sydney, and home to a fifth of Australia’s 25 million population, as total infections in the outbreak topped 60.
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