Australia’s Queensland will extend its border closure to New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to halt the spread of coronavirus from south-eastern states.
It has already shut to Victoria – the centre of Australia’s second wave – amid an outbreak in Melbourne.
Victoria reported 725 new infections on Wednesday, yet another daily record despite being four weeks into lockdown.
NSW saw many fewer – 12 – but all other states have consistently fared better.
Sydney – the NSW capital and Australia’s largest city – has been averaging about 80 infections per week, prompting concerns that community transmission could grow.
It has so far avoided returning to a second lockdown, but recently advised people to begin wearing masks.
With about 19,500 cases in total and 232 deaths, Australia has still fared better than many countries due to effective suppression measures early in the pandemic.
But since June – when most Australians emerged from a first lockdown – the outbreak in Melbourne has spiralled.