UK virus strain triggers snap lockdown in Australian city | Daily News

UK virus strain triggers snap lockdown in Australian city

Recent  outbreaks in  Australia have forced tight restrictions to be introduced again.
Recent outbreaks in Australia have forced tight restrictions to be introduced again.

AUSTRALIA: Australia’s third-largest city was headed into another lockdown Friday and nationwide restrictions on international arrivals were being tightened, after a cleaner at a quarantine hotel contracted the highly infectious UK strain of COVID-19.

More than two million residents in the Greater Brisbane area will have to stay at home for at least three days from Friday evening, authorities said.

“If we are going to stop the spread of this infectious strain, this UK strain, we must act immediately,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told the media.

The variant, which first triggered warnings in the UK last month, appears to be more infectious than Covid-19 strains previously detected in Australia.

Several UK and South African variant cases have been detected in travellers currently under mandatory quarantine in recent weeks.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said all international travellers would now be required to undergo testing before flying to Australia.The already low number of arrivals would also be temporarily reduced by 50 percent.

But recent outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne had forced travel across state borders to be tightly restricted again amid mounting pressure on officials to hasten the vaccine’s rollout.On Thursday, Morrison announced plans to bring forward the planned vaccine rollouts by weeks. They are now slated to begin in February.

Australia has recorded more than 28,500 COVID-19 cases and 909 deaths linked to the virus, in a population of about 25 million.

- AFP