South Australia has begun its six-day “circuit-breaker” lockdown, closing all schools and forcing people to stay inside in a bid to stop the spread of a second wave of coronavirus.
From midnight local time (12.30am AEDT) a raft of new restrictions began that are even harsher than those seen in Victoria during its outbreak.
“There is no second chance to stop a second wave,” Premier Steven Marshall said yesterday.
“We cannot wait to see how bad this becomes. We must act swiftly and decisively on the health advice to stay ahead of the game.”
People will be restricted from going out of their house, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said.
If South Australians do leave their home, they must wear face masks.
Supermarkets and petrol stations will remain open.
All schools will shut down, except for students of essential workers.
Universities, pubs, cafes, takeaway food shops will also close.
Aged care and disability residential care will be in lockdown.
Factories other than food and medical products will be closed except for where it is necessary for them to remain open.
The construction industry will be closed for six days.
“I have long said that COVID has challenged us but not beaten us,” Mr Marshall said.
“We continue to face our biggest test to date.
“We must rise to this challenge and rise we are stopping each and everyone of us united with a common purpose to beat this silent enemy.”
Clarification on lockdown rules: Police Commissioner
Mr Stevens clarified what the “don’t leave home” restrictions mean:
– Stay at home for the next six days, one person from a home may leave once a day to obtain groceries, supermarket supplies
– You may leave to provide care and support for another person where it is essential or for medical services.
Forty-five Australian Defence Force personnel are already in South Australia and another 45 are on stand-by to provide backup.
Mr Stevens urged people not to rush to supermarkets.
Face masks will not be made mandatory until the logistics of supply can be guaranteed.
Lockdowns come as two new cases found
Chief Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier called it a “small” but “critical” number of cases.
“There are also an additional seven people who are either awaiting test results or we had an initial test that was negative but we are highly suspicious and treating them as infectious.”
She flagged Woodville pizza bar as a real risk, and urged anyone who visited between November 6 and November 16 to be tested.
South Australia’s lockdown explained:
From 12.01am on Thursday, the following are closed for six days:
– All schools (except for children of essential workers)
– Takeaway food and universities
– Pubs, cafes, food courts
– Elective surgery
– Open inspections/auctions
– Outdoor sport/physical activity
– FIFO work – regional travel
– Aged care and disability residential care in lockdown
– Factories closed
– Construction industry closed
– No holiday homes
– Weddings and funerals banned for six days
– Masks will be required in all areas outside the home
-Exercise not permitted outside of the house
The following will still be open:
– Critical infrastructure
– Specific access to vulnerable members of community
– Medical including mental health
– Airport and freight services
– Petrol stations
– Post offices and financial institutions