Eight districts of “concern” in Australia’s most populous city, Sydney, have been slammed with stricter lockdown measures as police powers are expanded – and movement rigidly restricted to 5km from homes.
Non-compliance means a $500 fine, up from $200, and cops will have powers to shut down businesses & public spaces in violation of regulations. Police Minister David Eliot said he “detests” that they have to enforce such measures.
He also urged citizens to continue snooping on those who don’t obey rules, claiming tens of thousands are already doing so, as New South Wales recorded 239 cases yesterday – its highest-ever daily count.
Around 300 troops are now on the streets to ensure residents stick to the rules.
Here’s what happened today:
- New South Wales announced even harsher restrictions for eight local government areas in Sydney, and formally requested support from the army to help enforce the new rules.
- The state recorded 239 new local Covid cases, another daily record for NSW.
- Restrictions were tightened in eight areas, with residents now required to wear masks at all times outside of the home, and a 5km radius limit in place.
- The NSW police commissioner, Mick Fuller, said 300 troops from the Australian defence force would be brought in to the areas “over the coming week”.
- The Victorian health department said it was still searching for the source of infection for a mystery case – a testing centre traffic controller. Multiple exposure sites have been listed in the state.
- The state reported six other new local cases, but all were linked to current outbreaks and in quarantine.
- South Australia announced two new cases, but both were family contacts of a known case, and were in quarantine.
- Queensland reported no new cases, and the health minister, Yvette D’Ath, said a Covid-positive backpacker, who was reported yesterday, was infected in transit and was confirmed as the Alpha, not the Delta strain.