Melbourne’s third lockdown leaves Australia Open stands empty | Coronavirus pandemic News

Cluster that triggered the renewed restrictions have been staying at a quarantine resort at Melbourne Airport.

Australia’s second-most populous state of Victoria, together with capital Melbourne, entered a five-day lockdown on Saturday as authorities raced to stop a 3rd wave of COVID-19 circumstances set off by the extremely infections UK variant.

One new regionally acquired case was confirmed prior to now 24 hours, Victoria well being authorities mentioned on Saturday, taking the variety of lively circumstances within the state to twenty.

“Lots of people will probably be hurting at this time. This isn’t the place Victorians wished to be in however I can’t have a state of affairs the place, in two weeks’ time, we glance again and want we had taken these selections now,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews advised reporters on Saturday.

Andrews mentioned Prime Minister Scott Morrison had agreed to cease all worldwide flights to Melbourne via Wednesday, after 5 planes en route, with about 100 passengers, land on Saturday.

The cluster that triggered the renewed restrictions have been staying in a quarantine resort at Melbourne Airport.

It’s the third lockdown imposed on Melbourne. The primary two lockdowns have been applied when infections unfold in March 2020, after which in July, which lasted for about 4 months.

Streets in downtown Melbourne, the state’s capital, and its suburbs have been nearly empty early on Saturday, with individuals ordered to remain dwelling apart from important buying, two hours of outside train, caregiving, or work that can not be completed from dwelling.

Among the many “important” work, play on the Australian Open, the yr’s first Grand Slam tennis occasion which runs to February 21, continued, however followers have been banned via Wednesday. Hundreds have been pressured to depart earlier than midnight, generally in the midst of matches, on Friday.

‘Soul destroying’

The lockdown, which has shut eating places and cafes apart from takeaway, hit simply as Melbourne had equipped for the largest weekend in practically a yr, with Lunar New 12 months celebrations, Valentine’s Day and Australian Open crowds.

Melbourne final yr endured a 111-day lockdown, one of many strictest and longest on this planet on the time, to stem a coronavirus outbreak which led to greater than 800 deaths.

“It’s the busiest weekend of the yr for us. I’m sitting right here making 178 heartbreaking cellphone calls to see if I can get them to rebook,” mentioned Will Baa, proprietor of Lover, a restaurant within the hip district of Windsor.

“It’s fairly soul destroying. However we’re resilient. Simply fingers crossed that it solely does prolong for the quick interval of 5 days,” he mentioned.

The Australian Open match continues on Saturday with none viewers following the brand new lockdown order [Loren Elliott/Reuters]

Extra broadly, Australia is rated among the many world’s most profitable nations in tackling the pandemic, largely due to decisive lockdowns and borders sealed to all however a trickle of travellers. With a inhabitants of 25 million, there have been roughly 22,200 neighborhood circumstances and 909 deaths.

New Zealand on Saturday additionally reported one dying of a affected person with COVID-19.

The individual had been taken to hospital from quarantine for an unrelated situation and later examined optimistic. That case has but to be included within the nation’s complete of 25 COVID-19 deaths.

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