The Australian city of Sydney will remain restricted by lockdown orders until the end of September.
Over two million residents in Sydney will also be subject to nightly curfews in an attempt to suppress the spread of the Delta variant.
New South Wales State Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that new restrictions will also be introduced along with the nightly curfew.
These restrictions include the requirement to wear a mask when outdoors, as well as limits on exercise.
According to Reuters, Berejiklian spoke at a media conference where he stated, “I asked health and police to work together, to give me a final list of what we can throw at this, to leave no shadow of a doubt as to how serious we are about getting the rate of growth down, the case numbers down,”.
The curfew, which will come into effect from Monday, will begin at 9pm and remain in effect until 5am for the 12 worst-affected council areas.
Anyone who is caught entering these areas could face a fine and will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. In regards to case numbers, New South Wales reported 644 new infections on Friday, with most of them coming from Sydney.
Suicide prevention helpline Lifeline Australia stated that there has been a 40% increase in calls recently when compared to pre-pandemic times.
Lifeline Australia Chair John Brogden told ABC on Friday, “What that demonstrates is the level of anxiety, increasing levels of anger in the community, and of course stress and pressure,”.
With a population of 26 million, Australia has only managed to fully vaccinate 28% of its population over the age of 16.
Its sluggish vaccine rollout is believed to be the driving factor behind the new outbreaks, causing lockdowns that have pushed the world’s 13th largest economy to the brink of its second recession.