Sydney Covid-19 Quarantine Extended by Another Week

Sydney Covid-19 Quarantine Extended by Another Week

The two-week Covid-19 quarantine in Australia's largest city, Sydney will be extended by another week in an effort to contain Wednesday's outbreak of the highly contagious variant of the Delta virus.

The city, home to a fifth of Australia's 25 million people, is battling the worst outbreak of the year so far. The total number of cases has reached more than 330 since the first case was detected three weeks ago.

The State Authority of New South Wales (NSW) imposed a strict quarantine on June 26 to deal with the Delta variant. The stay-at-home order was scheduled to expire Friday (9/7), but will now expire on July 16.

The NSW head of government's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Sydney Morning Herald reports existing restrictions, including the mandatory wearing of masks indoors and on public transport, will remain in place for another week. Schools in Sydney will move to distance learning when they end their winter break.

Officials said the quarantine was effective because tight restrictions had brought daily cases down to tens rather than hundreds. However, the fast-moving Delta variant in a country that is slow to vaccinate worries officials.

NSW is scheduled to report its daily Covid-19 figures at 11.00 local time (01.00 GMT). Quarantine, rapid contact tracing and high public adherence to social distancing rules have helped Australia suppress past outbreaks and keep Covid-19 rates relatively low. The country has so far recorded more than 30,800 cases of Covid-19 and 910 deaths.