Lockdown

Bougainville to go into lockdown

This follows a surge in Covid-19 infections in recent weeks.

Last weekend alone there were four deaths at the main hospital in Buka and nine cases detected on Monday and Tuesday.

During the lockdown, issued by the regional pandemic controller, Clement Totavun, all educational institutions are to continue to operate, but at new hours of 8am to 2pm.

The main town markets are to close, but road side markets can still trade.

Other businesses, and government offices, can remain open but must apply the safety protocols.

Celebrations as city exits sixth lockdown

More than five million people have spent more than 260 days under restrictions, with Melbourne dubbed the "world's most locked down city".

This most recent lockdown, which has been in place since August, came to an end after 70% of the city's population received both vaccine doses.

Images from the city's reopening show people celebrating in bars.

Some people on social media reported hearing fireworks and cheering in celebration.

NZ in day two of lockdown as case numbers rise

There are 10 cases in the community and almost 70 locations of interest in Auckland and Coromandel.

Shopping malls, bars and cinemas across Auckland have been added to the Ministry of Health list of locations of interest meaning potentially thousands of people are now considered contacts.

Last night, malls in Albany and New Lynn, and supermarkets in different parts of Auckland were added.

So far, the earliest potential exposure site dates back two weeks to 3 August.

Australian capital Canberra goes into snap lockdown

It will come into effect at 17:00 local time on Thursday (07:00 GMT).

The lockdown was called for the whole of the Australian Capital Territory - home to around 400,000 people - because authorities do not know how the infected person caught the virus.

Residents will only be able to leave home for essential reasons.

Queues were reported at supermarkets as the lockdown approached.

Australia is struggling to get on top of the highly infectious Delta strain, which has resulted in two of its largest cities - Sydney and Melbourne - going into strict lockdowns.

Qantas stands down 2,500 staff over Sydney lockdown

The furlough - affecting pilots, crew and airport workers - will last for at least two months, the airline said.

Qantas said it would pay staff until mid-August, after which they could apply for government support payments.

Since June, fresh Covid outbreaks have forced most Australian states to reimpose restrictions.

The highly contagious Delta variant has forced lockdowns in several cities and some state border closures.

The situation is most severe in Sydney. It is seeing about 200 new infections each day, despite being in lockdown since 26 June.

Sydney extends lockdown as other Australian cities reopen

Australia's largest city has been under stay-at-home orders since late June due to an outbreak of the Delta variant.

More than 2,500 people have been infected in Sydney's worst outbreak this year.

New South Wales - of which Sydney is the capital - reported 177 new cases on Wednesday, the most in a day since March 2020.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was not possible for the city to exit lockdown on Friday as had been planned.

She announced further curbs on movement - including a 10km (6.5 miles) limit on essential shopping.

Anger as half of Australians in lockdown again

A third state went into lockdown on Tuesday. Stay-at-home orders are now in place in South Australia, Victoria and parts of New South Wales.

Many people have expressed frustration at being back in highly policed lockdowns 18 months into the pandemic.

And re-openings in the UK and the US have put pressure on the government.

Fewer than 14% of people are vaccinated - the worst rating among OECD nations.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been heavily criticised over the slow vaccination rate, but has resisted calls to apologise.

SA locks down, Victoria extends and NSW reports 78 new cases

NSW recorded 78 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm yesterday, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian saying 21 were infectious while in the community and eight were in isolation for part of their infectious period.

The isolation status of 12 cases remains under investigation.

Some 63,000 tests were done in the past day and they picked up cases in people who were not symptomatic, something the premier said was good news.

Nervous wait as Victoria's COVID-19 exposure sites grow and cases increase

Authorities are still discussing how many days it will last. It is not yet known if the lockdown will also apply to regional Victoria.

It will be the fifth lockdown since the pandemic began and the third this year.

Mask rules were already tightened overnight to respond to the outbreak, which is now linked to 16 cases.

Two of those were confirmed this morning, adding to the 10 included in yesterday's numbers.

The new cases are understood to have acquired the virus at an AFL game at the MCG on Saturday which was also attended by a COVID-positive case.

New South Wales extends lockdown by a week

The source of nine of those cases remains under investigation.

Greater Sydney's lockdown has been extended for another week - until 12:01am on July 17.

The social distancing restrictions in regional areas have also been extended.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the decision to extend lockdown was a difficult one.