explainer

4 capital cities in lockdown: A snapshot of what's happening across Australia right now.

Millions more Aussies have been told to stay home after Brisbane became the fourth capital city to enter lockdown today.

On Tuesday afternoon, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that parts of Queensland will go into a snap three-day lockdown after an unvaccinated hospital worker, who was potentially infectious in the community, tested positive for COVID-19. 

The lockdown, which starts from 6pm Tuesday, covers the areas of South East Queensland, Townsville city, Palm Island and Magnetic Island. 

"The risk is real and we need to act quickly, we need to go hard, we need to go fast," said Palaszczuk. 

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The news comes after three other states have imposed lockdowns in an effort to contain the highly infectious Delta variant currently grappling Australia. 

Here's what's happening across those four states right now. 

Brisbane's snap three day lockdown. 

Queensland is the latest state to announce a snap lockdown to help stamp out the spread of COVID-19. 

The three-day lockdown, which is expected to lift at 6:00pm on Friday, comes after Queensland recorded two new locally acquired cases, including the hospital worker and a miner from Ipswich.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she is "furious" that the 19-year-old clerical worker, who works at the Prince Charles Hospital, was not vaccinated despite the health directives. 

"For some reason, she wasn't vaccinated, so there will be a full investigation into that," she said.

"Let me say, I am absolutely furious about this."

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From 6pm tonight, parts of Queenland will enter lockdown including the local government areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Redlands, Moreton, Somerset and Logan, which previously had restrictions and mask orders.

Under the new restrictions, everyone living in those areas will only be able to leave home for one of the four reasons:

1. Essential education and work that cannot be done at home or to obtain health care services, including getting your vaccination.

2. Care or support of a vulnerable family member. 

3. Essential shopping such as groceries. 

4. Exercising with no more than one person not from your household, in your local community.

Those in the locked-down areas will also have to wear a mask outside the house. Meanwhile, masks are encouraged but not mandatory for those in other parts of Queensland. However, if you have been in the local government areas in the 14 days you need to follow the same mask rule. 

Perth's four day lockdown. 

Residents of Perth and Peel woke to their first full day of a four-day lockdown on Tuesday morning. 

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan announced the circuit breaker lockdown on Monday evening after a third new COVID-19 case was recorded in Perth's northern suburbs.

The original case in the outbreak is a 51-year-old woman who caught the virus from Sydney. She has been confirmed to have the highly contagious Delta variant. 

"We’re engaging in a lockdown to kill [the virus] as soon as we can," said Mr McGowan.

In positive news, the state recorded no new local cases on Tuesday, after 14,771 tests were conducted. 

"This is a promising sign, but we need many more people to get tested," he urged. 

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The premier also announced that Western Australia will reinstate its hard border with Queensland as of 3pm today. This means travellers from Queensland will need an exemption to enter the state. 

Under the lockdown restrictions, residents in Perth and Peel can only leave their home for work if they are an essential worker or service provider, purchasing essential goods, to receive urgent medical care, or one hour of outdoor exercise per day within 5km of their home and with up to one other adult from the same household. 

Masks must also be worn in all indoor settings except their home, on public transport and when outdoors, unless conducting vigorous exercise. 

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Darwin's extended lockdown. 

Darwin's lockdown was extended by three days on Monday, after the Northern Territory recorded one new local COVID-19 case in the community. 

Under the extended lockdown, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield will remain in lockdown until 1pm on Friday. 

"It is absolutely necessary to stop this," he said. 

"We are now in an extremely critical period, we must stay locked down while we keep this virus trapped."

A 48-hour lockdown was first announced on Saturday after four COVID-19 cases were linked to a central Australian mine. 

At the time, Mr Gunner warned the outbreak represents the Northern Territory's biggest crisis since the beginning of the pandemic and says the cases involve the highly contagious Delta variant. 

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On Tuesday, the territory recorded two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total outbreak linked to the mine to 10. 

Residents within the Darwin, Palmerston and Lichfield local government areas are only permitted to leave home for medical treatment, to obtain essential goods and services, for work considered essential, one hour of exercise a day or to provide care.

Anyone who leaves home must wear a mask.

Greater Sydney's two-week lockdown. 

Millions of people in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong are currently in the midst of a two-week lockdown. 

The lockdown measures were introduced on Saturday afternoon and will remain in place until midnight Friday, July 9.

On Tuesday, NSW recorded 19 new locally acquired cases, of which 17 are linked to previously confirmed cases.

The other two cases remain under investigation.

Under the restrictions, everyone within the Greater Sydney can only leave home for one of the four following reasons:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services.
  • Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact).
  • Exercise outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer.
  • Essential work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.

Masks are also compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events.  

The following rules apply for those living in regional NSW:

  • Visitors to households will be limited to five guests — including children.
  • Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including workplaces, and at organised outdoor events.
  • Drinking while standing at indoor venues will not be allowed.
  • Singing by audiences and choirs at indoor venues or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed.
  • Dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings for the wedding party only (no more than 20 people). 
  • Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class and masks must be worn.
  • All indoor and outdoor settings, including weddings and funerals must follow the one person per four square metre rule. 
  • Outdoor seated, ticketed events will be limited to 50 percent seated capacity

For more on the Greater Sydney lockdown, read our earlier article here. 

 Feature Image: Getty.

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