Brisbane: Australia’s third-largest city of Brisbane and other parts of Queensland state will enter a lockdown beginning from Saturday due to an outbreak of the Delta strain.
According to the state Deputy Premier Steven Miles, millions of residents in the city and several other areas will be placed under stay-at-home orders from Saturday afternoon for three days. ‘The only way to beat the Delta strain is to move quickly, to be fast and to be strong,’ Miles said.
Six new cases in a cluster of the Delta variant have been reported this weekend, resulting in students and teachers from two schools being placed in isolation. The cluster had been linked to returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine, but the source of transmission remained unclear, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said.
Residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential purposes, such as buying groceries and exercising, during the ‘strictest lockdown’ the city has ever imposed.
During Brisbane’s snap lockdown, Australia’s largest city of Sydney and its surroundings completed the fifth week of lockdown due to an outbreak of a Delta variant. ‘We cannot afford to be complacent just because we have done so well so far. We all we have to comply with these restrictions,’ Miles said.
In Sydney, there were 210 new local cases on Saturday, down from the record number earlier in the week.
In the city, police were out in force, trying to prevent anti-lockdown protestors from gathering after thousands of people poured into the streets and sparked violent clashes with officers last week.
With only 14 percent of the population fully vaccinated, authorities are relying on lockdowns in order to curb people’s movements and slow the spread of the virus. Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined a long road out of restrictions on Friday, saying 80 percent of the population must be fully vaccinated before the government can reopen its borders and lift lockdowns.