It all feels a bit like it did a year ago: Corona numbers in Australia are on the rise. The streets of the Sydney metropolis are empty. "It feels like déjà vu - like last year, after life had been pretty normal for such a long time," says an Australian woman in an interview with the Tagesschau.
A large part of the city of five million people has already not been allowed to leave their homes since Wednesday. On Saturday 6 p.m. local time, the regional government now sealed off the entire Sydney metropolitan area, the Blue Mountains mountain region and nearby coastal communities. On Sunday, the greater Darwin area in the north of the country was added. There are also renewed restrictions in the metropolis of Perth.
Delta variant is to blame: Renewed lockdown frustrates Australia - "another kick"
In New South Wales, the state in which Sydney is also located, the number of locally transmitted Corona cases rose from seven to more than a hundred within a week. The head of government there, Gladys Berejiklian, justified the lockdown, which will last two weeks for the time being, at a press conference by citing the rapid spread of the delta variant. "Due to the increased risk of infection, we expect the number of cases to increase far beyond the current numbers in the coming days. We suspect that people in quarantine have already infected their entire household."
Until early July, residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for shopping, doctor's appointments or exercise, as well as jobs that can't be done from the home office. Many Australians are frustrated by the renewed Corona restrictions. "Today it just feels like another kick as you slowly get back up," a 32-year-old Sydney baker complains to the AFP news agency.Australia had already largely curbed Corona infections with border closures and strict quarantine rules earlier this year. In total, the authorities counted more than 30,000 Corona cases since the beginning of the pandemic, 910 people died. Critics also blame the slow pace of vaccination in the country for the rising numbers. Only 7.2 million doses have gone to Australia's 25 million residents so far.
Photo by Dan Freeman