The South Australian government announced an immediate six-day lockdown followed by a week of tough restrictions in anticipation of a potential second wave of coronavirus infections.
The lockdown is to take immediate effect on Wednesday after the Parafield cluster, stemming from a hotel quarantine breach in which two cases grew overnight, reaching 22 cases.
The Premier, Steven Marshall, said a “circuit breaker” was needed in the state to allow for a contact-tracing blitz so South Australia doesn’t suffer from widespread cases of the disease as Victoria experienced.
“Our concern is that if we don’t have this circuit breaker … we will not stay ahead of this,” Marshall told reporters on Wednesday. “There is no second chance to stop a second wave. We are at a critical point but we will get through this.”
During the six-day-lockdown, schools will be closed with the exception of vulnerable children and those in need of essential workers. Universities will also be closed, as will cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Funerals and weddings will also be prohibited. Exercise will also be banned, as well as regional travel throughout the country.
State chief health officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier stated that although there are only two cases reported overnight, an additional seven were awaiting test results or had returned a “suspicious” negative test.
“Due to the high risk of onward transmission and the community, all of those suspected cases are going to be treated as infectious,” Spurrier stated. “We want people, for the next six days, to go home, make sure they have got their supplies, and to really spend as much time in that one place as they possibly can, leaving just for essential food, essential medical requirements and the like.”
South Australian Police have already issued warnings to residents in potential breach of the law, for simply walking their dogs.