Australia’s third-biggest metropolis declares strict stay-home order in bid to stamp out new cluster of instances.

Australian authorities introduced a snap three-day COVID-19 lockdown within the northern metropolis of Brisbane from Monday afternoon, as they try to stamp out an outbreak of the virulent UK variant of the virus.

About two million individuals within the metropolis, the nation’s third-largest and the capital of Queensland state, can be required to remain residence from 5pm native time (07:00 GMT) aside from important work, healthcare, grocery buying or train.

“That is the UK pressure. It’s extremely infectious. Now we have to do that now to keep away from an extended lockdown,” Queensland state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stated.

“We’ve seen what’s occurred in different international locations. I don’t wish to see that occur to Queensland, I don’t wish to see that occur to Australia.”

State officers reported 4 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 instances on Monday, taking the cluster of instances linked to the UK variant to seven. The primary case within the new cluster was reported on Friday.

Palaszczuk pointed to the success of a snap three-day lockdown in Brisbane in early January after the invention of a single case of the UK variant.

“That labored very effectively after we did that final time,” she stated.

Snap lockdowns, social-distancing guidelines and speedy contact-tracing methods have helped Australia to stamp out recent clusters in current months. The nation has reported simply over 29,200 instances and 909 deaths for the reason that pandemic started.

Native media reported lengthy queues at supermarkets in addition to at COVID-19 testing centres on Monday.

Faculties within the metropolis can be closed from Tuesday, with funerals capped at 20 individuals, weddings restricted to 10 and family gatherings restricted to 2 individuals. Eating places and cafes will solely have the ability to supply take-away meals, whereas bars can be closed.

Individuals may also be required to put on masks outdoors their properties together with on public transport and in places of work and workplaces.

Palaszczuk stated lockdowns would “be a part of the Australian manner of life till everyone seems to be vaccinated”.

The nation’s vaccine rollout has been sluggish, with simply over 500,000 photographs administered to this point in a rustic of 25 million.

Earlier than the announcement, Brisbane was amongst a number of Australian cities having fun with relaxed restrictions with residents in a position to freely attend occasions together with live shows and sporting matches.

The lockdown is at the moment scheduled to complete simply earlier than the nation begins the Easter holidays, which is normally a well-liked time for individuals to journey.