Sydney, 12 August 2021 (dpa/MIA) — The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), home to capital Canberra, on Thursday announced a snap, seven-day lockdown after recording its first Covid-19 case in the community since last July.
ACT health authorities said that the lockdown would start at 5 pm (0700 GMT) on Thursday, with Canberrans only allowed to leave home for reasons such as to shop for essentials, carry out essential work, obtain essential health care or exercise outdoors for no more than one hour a day.
The lockdown is “a result of a Covid-19 case being identified in the community and positive wastewater detections reported overnight,” ACT Health said on Twitter.
“We have said throughout the outbreak in Greater Sydney that we would act quickly and decisively,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr said in a statement.
“We have seen that a short and immediate lockdown limits the potential spread of the virus, and is the best path to avoiding longer and more damaging lockdowns.”
Both houses of federal parliament were already set to rise on Thursday evening, news agency AAP reported, adding that there is another fortnight of sittings scheduled for Aug. 23 to Sept. 2.
Many lawmakers were already appearing remotely because of lockdowns and border closures down the east coast and Parliament House is shut to the public.
Canberra’s lockdown comes as the delta variant of the coronavirus continued to wreck havoc in neighboring New South Wales despite a lockdown in place in Sydney and parts of the state imposed at the end of June and recently extended until the end of August.