South Australia will be ordered into a major lockdown for six days in what the state government is describing as a “circuit breaker”.

From last night, for the next six days, all schools, pubs, cafes, takeaway food outlets, and the construction industry will close. Exercise will be banned outside the house.

People will be restricted from going outside their homes. Only one person per household will be able to leave the home each day, but only for specific purposes.

People are being encouraged to wear masks whenever they are outside their homes.

Universities and all outdoor sport will be shut down, while elective surgery will cease. Weddings and funerals will also be banned.

Urgent operations and cancer treatment will be allowed to go ahead.

Critical infrastructure such as water, electricity and telecommunications will remain open, as will supermarkets.

Medical services, including mental health support, will be open, as will public transport.

‘Going hard and going early’

SA Premier Steven Marshall called the measures a necessary “circuit breaker” to allow for a contact tracing blitz on cases linked to the Parafield cluster.

“We continue to face our biggest test to date,” he said.

“We are going hard and we are going early. Time is of the essence.”

There have been two new cases of coronavirus cases in SA, both linked to the Parafield cluster.

Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said the particular strain of the virus was breeding “very, very rapidly” with a short incubation period of about 24 hours, and with infected people showing only minimal symptoms.

Measures to prevent ‘the experience in Victoria’ in SA

Professor Spurrier said the lockdown was needed because of the unusually transmissible nature of this strain of the coronavirus, and to prevent the need for a Victoria-style long-term lockdown.

“If we leave this any longer … then we will be in this for a long haul and we will be like the experience in Victoria,” she said.

“We don’t have any time to wait.

“If I just thought about this all day and then told the Police Commissioner and the Premier tonight, we would already be that 12 hours behind.”

Other restrictions over the next six days will include temporarily banning fly-in-fly-out work, regional travel and the rental of holiday homes.

Aged care and disability residential facilities will also be in lockdown.

SOURCE – RADIO NZ

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