June 28, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, entered a two week lockdown on Saturday at 6pm in an effort to stem growing COVID-19 infections across the city, which began with a cluster of the Delta strain in Bondi. Residents are generally only allowed to leave home for essential work which can’t be done at home, to shop for essential items, for medical care or to be vaccinated, for exercise and for compassionate reasons. Groups of up to 10 can meet outdoors for exercise. Non-essential businesses like pubs, clubs, restaurants, beauty services and entertainment venues are closed. Funerals can take place but weddings cannot.

Meanwhile Darwin including the surrounding regions of Palmerston and Litchfield and the Wagait and Belyuen Shires entered a snap two-day lockdown on Sunday until Tuesday at 1pm, after five cases were identified, linked to an emerging outbreak at a gold mine site in Central Australia. Some of those cases have since flown to other states.

Darwin’s lockdown is slightly stricter but broadly follows the same rules as Greater Sydney with reasons to leave home being to access essential goods and services, for essential work, for medical care and vaccination, to provide care and to exercise, which is limited to one hour a day, no more than 5km from home.

Queensland also added new restrictions from Monday 6am in response to the NSW outbreak, and will introduce further restrictions from 1am Tuesday, after a new local case linked to the Central Australia gold mine was confirmed to have the Delta strain. There have also been three other local cases in Queensland announced today and yesterday, linked to a quarantine hotel leak from a week ago where a woman who had completed 14 days of quarantine tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after re-entering the community. These cases are the Alpha variant rather than the Delta variant and the case announced this morning was in isolation for their full infectious period.

New restrictions in Queensland roll back new eased measures which came into effect just last Friday.

For today only, the restrictions reintroduce the two square metre rule (three people per four square metres had been the new rule from last Friday) and cap gathering at home to 100 people. Indoor gatherings are impacted by the tightened two square metre rule, although it appears that venues that are ticketed and seated may operate at 100 percent capacity.

From tomorrow, restrictions will be tightened further, with the four square metre rule to be reintroduced in most indoor settings (some exceptions apply to smaller venues), gatherings at home will be limited to 30 people and masks will be introduced in indoor public spaces in the Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan , Redlands, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay and Somerset local government areas

And the Western Australian Government has reintroduced restrictions for the Perth and Peel regions for at least three days after a woman who has recently been in NSW was diagnosed with COVID-19. New restrictions include a 150 person limit on events and attendance at hospitality, recreation, fitness and entertainment venues as well as those providing beauty services.

In Canberra, masks have been introduced in most indoor public settings as a preventative measure.