Australia’s two largest states have reported sharp increases in new COVID-19 cases, a blow to hopes lockdown restrictions would be lifted with more than half the country’s population under stay-at-home orders. New South Wales and Victoria are currently subject to the stay-at-home order following an outbreak of the Delta variant.
Sydney, the country’s most populous city, has reported 110 new cases four weeks into a lockdown, and Victoria reported 22 as it nears two weeks of a statewide lockdown.
Health leaders have warned the states will not be released from lockdown until cases are as close to zero as possible.
A third state, South Australia, went into its first full day of a week-long lockdown on Wednesday and reported one additional case.
The restrictions are in place for some 13 million Australians, and only 11 percent of whole population is vaccinated so far.
Because even Australians are struggling to get back into their country, this means travel for leisure to Australia for Brits is off the cards for the foreseeable future.
Many are predicting the borders won’t reopen until 2022 at least.
Australia’s finance minister Simon Birmingham told local media in May 2021 that Australians “won’t be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year.
He continued: “Given uncertainties that exist not just in the speed of the vaccine rollout, but also the extent of its effectiveness to different variants of Covid, the duration of its longevity and effectiveness.”