August 13, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Australia’s capital has gone into a seven-day lockdown from 5pm yesterday after a man in his 20s who lives in the capital tested positive for COVID-19. He is projected to have been infectious in the community since Sunday, leading to a number of exposure sites around Canberra.

Three more COVID-19 cases were identified in the territory by late yesterday.

All events and public gatherings have been shut down for the next week, with residents only allowed to leave their home for essential supplies, essential work, medical care including COVID-19 vaccination and to exercise for one hour per day.

Masks are required both indoors and outdoors in all public spaces and public has been urged to stay within their local area for all essential activity over the next week.

“This is the most serious public health risk that we have faced in the territory this year…really since the beginning of the pandemic,” said the ACT’s Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

“We’ve said throughout the outbreak that we’ve witnessed 300km up the road from Canberra in Sydney that the lessons we learned from that and from elsewhere around Australia are that immediate and significant public health responses are needed to get ahead of this Delta strain.

“This is the best path to pursue to protect the health of the community and to avoid even more damaging and prolonged lockdowns and more significant economic consequences for our community.”

Meanwhile, in NSW, the eight local government areas around Newcastle and the Hunter that have been in lockdown for the past week have had their lockdown extended by another week following the continuing emergence of new cases, including 24 yesterday.