The state of South Australia will go into lockdown for six days in an effort to contain a growing coronavirus epidemic. The cluster, which has been assigned to a traveler quarantined at a hotel, has included 22 cases since Saturday.
It is the first major outbreak in Australia since that in the state of Victoria in June which was also attributed to around 40 hotels. Strict restrictions were in place across Victoria for almost 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: grocery shopping, access to medical services or for care purposes. Restaurants, cafes, pubs and retail stores will close, as will schools and universities. Outdoor sports and physical activities are prohibited, and masks will be compulsory.
“It’s about taking a break in South Australia to stay ahead of the virus,” South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall said at a press conference. “Our concern is that if we don’t have this breaker, we won’t stay ahead of this.”