Residents in some of Sydney’s most affluent suburbs, including around Bondi Beach, will be closed for at least another week as Covid-19 spreads to Australia’s most populous city.
The state health department revealed on Friday that it had been notified of 11 locally acquired cases overnight in NSW, after 11 infections in the 24 hours to 8pm the previous day.
NSW Health said 65 cases are linked to a cluster in Bondi. Authorities earlier said the latest outbreak, which marks the state’s first infection in more than a month, was linked to a driver transporting overseas airline crews and visiting several places in Sydney, including a shopping center in Bondi.
That has prompted the state to reintroduce the wearing of masks indoors, but it also poses a broader political problem for leaders given that Australia has one of the world’s least vaccinated populations.
Those who live in, or whose usual place of business is in central Sydney and parts of the affluent eastern suburbs, will be subject to stay-at-home orders until midnight on 2 July, Gladys Berejiklian, New South Wales Premier, said Friday.
These include Waverley Council, which includes Bundy, as well as Woullahra, Randwick and the City of Sydney Councils.
Affected residents may leave their homes only for essential activities or services. Many other areas of the city are already under lockdown and residents are prohibited from traveling outside Sydney for non-essential reasons.
New South Wales, which has a population of about 8.2 million people (more than 5.3 million of whom live in Sydney), has confirmed 5,507 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic and 56 related deaths. New Zealand this week halted a travel bubble with the country, which had exempted travelers from submitting to a mandatory hotel quarantine.
Although Australia was among those countries that did well last year in keeping the coronavirus outbreak small and contained, vaccination has been slow.
Only 4.4 percent of the population have been fully vaccinated, according to FT . tracker, at a time when more transmissible variants of Covid-19 are spreading across the world.