Just a few hours ago, the Australian capital of Canberra joined Sydney, Melbourne and their surrounding areas by entering a strict lockdown after public health authorities identified the city’s first COVID case in a year. On Thursday, authorities confirmed another 3 cases, all linked to the first case. Meanwhile, health authorities in Australia have been tightening restrictions on travel, leaving some Aussies who live abroad trapped in their home country because of a few hundred COVID cases.
The Capital Territory’s Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced earlier this week that the “hard” seven-day lockdown would begin at 1700 local time on Thursday (meaning it started a few hours ago). But judging by the repeated extensions in Sydney and Melbourne, the capital territory lockdown will likely remain in place for weeks, if not months.
“This is by far the most serious public health risk the ACT has faced in the past 12 months, and that’s why the ACT is entering a strict lockdown in response to this positive case,” Barr said.
Already, neighboring territories are imposing restrictions on travel to the capital area. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk declared the ACT a ‘hotspot’. Beginning at 0100 on Aug. 14, Queenslanders will need to remain on their side of the border. Anybody who crosses the border after that point will need to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks. Anybody arriving after 1700 Thursday will be asked to quarantine at home (and that’s retroactive to anybody who has traveled in the capital territory since Aug. 9).
Meanwhile, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has warned of harsh penalties for any Canberrans found breaking the strict stay-at-home orders to enter NSW. – READ MORE