South Australia will be entering a six-day lockdown and a further eight days of lesser restrictions as the state battles a second wave of COVID-19.
SA Premier Steven Marshall announced the “pause” for South Australia on Wednesday afternoon as they face their “biggest test to date”.
“We need a circuit breaker to stay ahead of this. We need breathing space for a contact tracing blitz, to protect the elderly, to protect the vulnerable, to protect our entire community. That is why, today, I am asking you to rise to the challenge again,” Marshall said, according to The Guardian.
“As of midnight tonight, we need our community to pause for six days. A series of wide-ranging restrictions will be implemented to significantly reduce mobility in the community to stop the spread, to stamp out this virus.”
The restrictions will see schools, universities, restaurants and takeaway outlets close, surgeries cancelled, aged care and disability care in lockdown, factories, construction sites, weddings and funerals shut down.
Face masks will now be mandatory in all areas outside the home.
Residents will be restricted from leaving their homes to only once per day, one person per household to collect groceries, 7News reported. Police Commissioner Grant Stevens confirmed exercise outside of the home will not be permitted under the new rules.
Marshall said he knew the restrictions would be challenging, but it was imperative to “keep South Australia safe and strong”.
The state only recorded two new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday but chief health officer Nicola Spurrier said it was a small but critical number, the Guardian reported.
“There are also an additional seven people who are either awaiting test results or we had an initial test that was negative but we are highly suspicious and treating them as infectious. Due to the high risk of onward transmission and the community, all of those suspected cases are going to be treated as infectious.”
This comes after residents flocked to COVID-19 testing stations on Wednesday morning.
9News reported that there were over three hour waiting and people had been queuing since 5am to ensure they got tested.
Marshall said they had seen “record testing rates”.
“Proud South Australians in line for hours to be tested knowing that the effort of each and of us collectively makes a big difference on how we get through this.”
The state will be looking to implement 24-hour testing.
This comes after authorities announced several new hotspots on Tuesday including a pizza bar in Adelaide’s western suburbs.
Anyone who visited or got takeaway, including delivery, from the Woodville Pizza Bar between November 6-16 was asked to immediately self-quarantine and get tested.
This content was originally published here.