Sydney, Australia, Dec 19 (efe-epa).- Sydney’s Northern Beaches area on Saturday begins a four-day lockdown amid a local outbreak of Covid-19, which has accumulated 38 cases in a few days.
The move was announced in a televised appearance by New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who also asked the rest of the residents of Sydney, the state capital, to refrain from non-essential activities or trips.
In the Northern Beaches area, residents will not be able to leave home unless it is to go shopping, to the hospital, to school or work, if they cannot do so remotely.
Thousands of people were visiting Covid-19 testing centers before the lockdown is enforced at 5 pm local time (6:00 GMT) and will end at 11:59 pm local time (12:59 GMT) on Wednesday.
It is the first such restriction measure in Sydney since March.
Other Australian states have also imposed movement restrictions on the country’s internal borders and other measures a few days ahead of the Christmas and summer holidays.
The state of Western Australia has imposed mandatory 14-day quarantines on people coming from NSW, the most populous state in the country with more than 8 million inhabitants.
Other jurisdictions, such as the Northern Territory and Queensland, where one of the people linked to the outbreak traveled, have restricted quarantine periods only to those coming from the Northern Beaches.
Victoria, which was the epicenter of the second wave of Covid-19 in Australia and has been without new locally-transmitted infections for more than 49 days, banned travel from Saturday night to and from Sydney, which has 5.3 million inhabitants.
Australia – which has kept its international borders closed since March, with certain exceptions, and which is trying to repatriate more than 30,000 citizens and residents stranded abroad – has accumulated more than 28,050 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, including 908 deaths. EFE-EPA