The lockdown will come into force at 17:00 local time on Thursday (07:00 GMT). It was proposed for the whole of the Australian Capital Territory – home to around 400,000 people – since authorities do not know how the infected person caught the virus. Inhabitants will only be able to leave home for indispensable reasons. With the approaching of lockdown, queues were reported at supermarkets.
Australia is seeing an increasing number of the highly infectious Delta strain, which has led to two of its largest cities – Sydney and Melbourne – going into strict lockdowns. Vast parts of New South Wales are locked down, and in Victoria, there are comparable restrictions on Melbourne for at least another week.
Extra military assistance could be asked to ensure compliance with lockdown rules in Sydney, the New South Wales state government stated. “We are making sure that we do not leave any stone unturned in relation to extra (military) resources,” state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at a media conference. Around 580 unarmed army personnel are already supporting police in implementing quarantine orders in areas of Sydney.
Even after seven weeks of lockdown in Sydney, infections remain at their highest. On Thursday, three hundred forty-five new locally acquired cases were recorded in New South Wales, with two deaths recorded.