The state of South Australia will go into lockdown for six days in an effort to contain a growing coronavirus outbreak. The cluster, which has been traced to a traveler quarantining in a hotel, has included 22 cases since Saturday.
It is the first major outbreak in Australia since one in Victoria state in June that was also traced to a hotel quarantine. Tight restrictions were in place across Victoria for nearly four months.
Starting at midnight on Wednesday, only one person from each household in South Australia will be able to go out per day to access essential services: to buy groceries, access medical services or for caregiving purposes. Restaurants, cafes, pubs and retail stores will close, as will schools and universities. Outdoor sports and physical activities are banned, and masks will be mandatory.
“This is about South Australia pausing so that we stay ahead of the virus,” South Australia’s premier, Steven Marshall, said at a news conference. “Our concern is that if we don’t have this circuit breaker, that we will not stay ahead of this.”
After the six-day lockdown, South Australia will face another eight days of lesser restrictions, details of which have not yet been announced.