Another state locks down as Victoria announces extension

South Australia has joined Victoria and NSW in lockdown as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread across the country.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced that the state would enter a seven-day lockdown after a fifth case was announced on Tuesday morning, while Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced his state’s lockdown would be extended by at least one more week.

The South Australian restrictions take effect from 6pm on Tuesday and mean that residents have just five reasons to leave their homes. These are undertaking essential work, care and caregiving, exercise, medical reasons and shopping for essential goods and services.

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South Australian authorities are particularly concerned about a man in his 60s who dined at a restaurant in Adelaide at the same time as other infected people on Saturday night.

Those people had attended a birthday party in a private function room, which the authorities believe could act as a super-spreader event.

“We hate putting these restrictions in place, but we have one chance to get this right,” Mr Marshall said. “We are moving as quickly as we can to slow and stop the spread of this cluster.

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“We know these restrictions will take a heavy toll. But we’ve always had a situation where we go hard, and we go early in South Australia.

“We’ve got to stop movement around this state and we’ve got to stop it immediately.”

Victoria recorded 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, necessitating an extension to the state’s lockdown, but Mr Andrews said the state was close to returning to COVID normal.

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“A victory against this (outbreak) is absolutely within reach,” he said. “We just need a little bit longer.”

Mr Andrews also announced that from midnight on Wednesday there would be no more travel permits for people from Sydney to enter Victoria.

“For four weeks we have been saying to people from Victoria … come home because the rules may change. Well, the rules are changing today,” Mr Andrews said.

“The only people who will get a permit to travel from a red zone into Victoria are those who are authorised workers and those who apply for and get a compassionate exemption.”

The new NSW hard border with Victoria will be in place for at least the next two weeks.

NSW had some promising news on the COVID front, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcing that the state recorded 78 new cases on Tuesday, with 27 of those infectious in the community.

Queensland, meanwhile, has gone onto high alert after one of the cases from the Victorian cluster tested positive in the state.

Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeanette Young explained that the infected woman travelled from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast after unknowingly visiting a hotspot.

The woman, who was studying in Victoria and went home to Maroochydore for a holiday break on 13 July, received an SMS from Victorian authorities on 15 July that she had been at the Young and Jackson pub, which had become an exposure site.

Are you concerned about the number of COVID cases in your state? Are you in lockdown? How long do you think the lockdown will last in your area? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben