The South Australian government has announced an immediate six-day lockdown followed by a further week of tough restrictions as the state scrambles to avoid a second wave of coronavirus infections.

The lockdown will take effect from midnight on Wednesday after the Parafield cluster, which started from a hotel quarantine breach, grew by two overnight to reach 22 confirmed cases

During the lockdown, imposed for six days, only one person from each household will be allowed to leave home each day, and that too only for essential reasons, authorities said. Everything, including outdoor gatherings, weddings, funerals and takeaway food has come to a standstill as authorities try to stifle the latest flare-up of the novel coronavirus. 

Prime Minister of Australia tweeted, regarding lockdown

The premier, Steven Marshall, said the state needed a “circuit breaker” to allow for a contact-tracing blitz so South Australia didn’t face a crisis as Victoria experienced.

Our concern is that if we don’t have this circuit breaker. we will not stay ahead of this,” Marshall told reporters on Wednesday. “There is no second chance to stop a second wave. We are at a critical point but we will get through this.”

Under the six-day lockdown, schools will be closed except for vulnerable children and those of essential workers. Universities will be shut down, as will pubs, cafes and food courts. 

There will be no funerals or weddings, outdoor exercise is banned and regional travel is prohibited, meaning people must remain where they are.

The state’s chief health officer, Prof Nicola Spurrier, said that although there were only two cases reported overnight, an additional seven people were either waiting for test results or had returned a “suspicious” negative test.

“Due to the high risk of onward transmission and the community, all of those suspected cases are going to be treated as infectious,” Spurrier said. “We want people, for the next six days, to go home, make sure they have got their supplies, and to really spend as much time in that one place as they possibly can, leaving just for essential food, essential medical requirements and the like.”

People have also been told by health authorities to wear masks whenever they are outside their home.

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