Melbourne will enter a five-day lockdown from midnight on Friday as authorities rush to quash the spread of the “hyper-infectious” UK variant of the coronavirus.
A fresh Covid-19 cluster linked to a quarantine hotel in the capital of Victoria state reached 13 cases as of Thursday midnight.
The lockdown will bar spectators from the Australian Open, which has been allowing up to 30,000 fans in every day, although the government has said the tournament itself will continue.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced the lockdown for the state, calling it a “short, sharp circuit breaker” banning public gatherings, home auctions, weddings and religious gatherings.“
“We must assume that there are further cases in the community than we have positive results for, and that it is moving at a velocity that has not been seen anywhere in our country over the course of these last 12 months,” Mr Andrews told reporters.
Read more: Melbourne enters ‘five-day’ ‘Covid’ lockdown as fascist Victoria Premier Andrews says action needed to tackle ‘hyper-infectious’ UK variant (a ‘variant’ of a ‘virus’ never shown scientifically to exist. Sure, I’ll believe you)