Australia’s largest city, Sydney now faces new COVID-19 restrictions following the recent outbreak.
New South Wales has isolated itself from the rest of Australia following the “widening” outbreak in Sydney. States, like Victoria and northeastern Queensland, shut their borders, including even South Australia.
Despite this, though, the country’s most populous state has yet to call for a lockdown. Even so, it has already re-introduced “soft touch” COVID-19 curbs, according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, the state started to impose new restrictions, particularly in its capital. This is to contain the “widening” fresh outbreak of the Delta variant.
COVID-19 curbs in Sydney
Residents from Sydney now face limited trips. Non-essential travel is no longer available, with home visits limited to five guests per household.
The state has noted these for residents of the city’s seven council areas. These are Waverly, Canada Bay, Inner West, Randwick, Bayside, Woollahra, and the City of Sydney.
Masks are now also compulsory, even indoors, including offices and gym centers. Some schools have started to go online-only teaching, as well, in accordance with the new restrictions.
CNN added that hospitality venues would require four square meters per person. This applies to both indoor and outdoor settings, including funerals and wedding events. Moreover, seated events should only accommodate 50 percent of the total capacity.
New South Wales’s Health Minister Brad Hazzard said that the risks are “not just in a shopping center” but right across the city of Sydney. He also added that they have already gone from “near and present danger to a very real and present danger.”
First virus cluster in nearly a month
The same publications noted that this is the state’s “first virus cluster” in more than a month. It reportedly likely comes after a driver, who transports overseas airline crew, visited various locations, including a Bondi shopping center.
The infections in the area grew to 31 cases during the first day of the restrictions. As of the time of writing, reports noted that the number has already surpassed 40.
Government minister tests positive
Earlier on Thursday, Reuters released a new report, revealing that a state government minister tested positive for COVID-19. Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall had confirmed it in a statement.
The same outlet continued that the state’s Health Minister is now in isolation after he was asked to do so. He said that officials deemed him to be a “possible close contact of a positive case.”
New South Wales has since seen a double-digit rise in the new COVID-19 cases, which stems from the infections in Sydney.
Images courtesy of 7NEWS Australia/YouTube