Sydney will remain in lockdown for at least two more weeks, at least until July 30, New South Wales state Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced on Wednesday.
The lockdown fits within the Australian ‘Covid zero strategy’ with which the authorities want to eradicate the transmission of corona infections.
Most Sydney residents are allowed to leave home to exercise, run essential errands, work, or health reasons. But the schools are closed, and people are encouraged to stay at home. Prime Minister Berejiklian did not rule out stricter restrictions if the number of cases continues to rise.
Australia’s largest city is already in its third week of lockdown to contain a coronavirus outbreak fueled by the Delta variant. On Tuesday, 97 new infections were registered, ten more than the day before.
The latest Covid-19 outbreak in Australia started in mid-June and has since grown to 864 cases. Twenty people are currently in intensive care; two have died.
Australia has been praised for its early handling of the pandemic. Still, the slow implementation of the vaccination program has left a significant portion of the population unprotected as much of the world cautiously reopens.
The Australian border has been largely closed since March 2020 and is unlikely to reopen this year.