South Australia will go into full lockdown from 6pm tonight, as was announced by the state’s Premier Steven Marshall.
The decision comes after health authorities identified five new cases linked to the Modbury cluster and confirmed the state’s outbreak is the Delta strain.
“We hate putting these restrictions in place but we believe we have one chance to get this right. We have no alternative but to impose some fairly heavy and immediate restrictions to come in — at 6pm tonight South Australia moves into lockdown,” Premier Marshall said.
The lockdown will last for seven days.
The only reasons to leave home will be to care for someone, for essential work, to purchase essential goods such as food, exercise with people from the same household and healthcare — including COVID testing and vaccination.
Schools will be closed from tomorrow with a 24-hour transition period in place for teachers to arrange at-home learning.
Support for businesses is expected to be announced tomorrow.
The fifth case was identified in a diner who went to The Greek on Halifax restaurant on Saturday night at the same time as a contact of the original case — a man who came back from Argentina earlier this month. A coronavirus-infected man also visited Gaganis supermarket.
“Value of prevention”
Scientist Nikos Filippatos told Neos Kosmos that the lockdown is important to contain the virus. “It seems absurd at this stage, but that is the value of prevention,” he said “In Sydney they did not act quickly and the situation got out of control. They will “suffer” for several more weeks (possibly months). This is what they are trying to prevent here in SA.”
‘Better safe than sorry’
SA based Greek Australians appear to be torn when it comes to the Premier’s decision.
“It is good to tame the spread and control it before it escalates. We need to stop the movement,” Greek Australian entertainer Sofia Dimitrakopoulou told Neos Kosmos, who will be affected as both an entertainer and hairdresser.
“I understand the reasons why the government is over-reacting and dramatic. I do not agree with it. The emotional, social, physical and economic devastation it is inflicted on families, people and small businesses is absolutely heartbreaking. I feel for them and those stranded inter and intrastate, what are they supposed to do? Fearmongering in my opinion,” Maria, aged 66, told Neos Kosmos, not wishing to have her surname identified. She lives close to the cluster in Modbury.
“These lockdowns are destroying small businesses”
“These lockdowns are frustrating, and they are destroying small business in our state,” transport business owner Arthur Diamond told Neos Kosmos.