Sydney enters hard COVID lockdown

Sydney, Australia is entering a hard COVID lockdown to control a sudden spike in cases, even though Australia itself has faired better than most other advanced countries in containing the pandemic.

Authorities say the city and surrounding areas have about 80 confirmed cases of the Delta variant of the virus, and it's spreading rapidly. The country also remains largely unvaccinated.

Parts of Sydney, Australia's biggest city, were already under lockdown due to the outbreak.

Gladys Berejiklian is the Premiere of New South Wales:

"If we are going to do this, we need to do it properly. There's no point doing a three-day lockdown and then having the virus continue to bubble away in the community.”

Under the rules in place through July 9, people can leave home for only essential work, medical care, education, or shopping like groceries.

The government says 28% of people aged 16 or older have received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot.

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