Australian states enact travel bans as Sydney coronavirus cluster grows
Sydney residents now face travel bans across Australia as states and territories enacted restrictions Monday following a growing COVID-19 outbreak in the nation's most populous city, per the BBC.
Why it matters: News South Wales went 13 days with no local coronavirus cases before the virus resurfaced on the northern beaches of state capital Sydney and in the city's west last Wednesday. The cluster has now grown to 83 cases and spread to Sydney's central business district.
The big picture: NSW reported 15 new infections Monday. State Premier Gladys Berejiklian told a briefing it's too early to determine whether restrictions she imposed on the greater Sydney region and other parts of NSW in response to the outbreak would remain in place for Christmas.
- "Obviously, we have halved the number of cases overnight, but in a pandemic, there is a level of volatility, so we’ll closely monitor what happens," she said. "We'll be making a final call on Wednesday morning."
Of note: A NSW health official told Monday's briefing two travelers newly returned from the U.K. had tested positive for a new variant of COVID-19 first detected in England.
- Genomic sequencing shows none of the 83 local cases have this strain of the virus, officials said.