Good morning, and what a doozy of a morning it is.
I’m Matilda Boseley, and I’ll be attempting to break down exactly what on earth is happening in Australia at the moment, with coronavirus outbreaks across three states and a territory, and lockdowns, tightened restrictions and border closures spreading nearly as fast as the virus.
First things first: NSW is on edge this morning, bracing for a surge in cases today after the state’s premier warned that numbers were going to get worse before they get better.
The state recorded 30 new locally acquired virus Covid cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday after greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour went into lockdown.
But Sydney isn’t the only city in crisis this morning with cases scatters across the country, prompting state and territory leaders to clear time in their schedules for an unscheduled national cabinet phone hook-up to discuss the widespread restrictions and their subsequent impact on the economy.
Darwin and its surrounding regions have been plunged into a 48-hour lockdown after recording four new cases – the first-ever instances of community spread in the Northern Territory.
In Western Australia, a woman who returned from visiting Sydney picked up the virus at a cafe in Bondi, prompting increased restrictions in Perth and Peel, including indoor mask use.
In Queensland, three local cases were recorded, including an NT miner who was infectious in the Sunshine Coast community and a couple linked to the existing Brisbane cluster.
In response, South Australia has slammed closed its border to all but Tasmania, and the ACT has tightened Covid-19 restrictions despite not recording any cases in the territory.
And, perhaps most surprisingly, Victoria seems to be doing … OK actually. Wild!
Don’t worry if you are a little confused, we all are, but we will break it all down together this morning.