Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews calls for a ‘ring of steel’ around Sydney
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has sensationally called for a “ring of steel” around Sydney in a bid to stop the deadly Covid-19 Delta strain seeping out of the locked down city.
The Victorian government implemented the harsh measure during their second wave last year, where police and Australian Defence Force personnel manned key entry points on the fringe of Melbourne to stop cases fleeing into regional areas or other states.
Mr Andrews called on NSW authorities and the Commonwealth to enforce the same measure for NSW after the state recorded 136 new locally acquired cases on Friday – 53 of which were infectious while out in the community.
The huge spike in cases prompted NSW officials to label the current Covid-19 situation a “national emergency”.
“If there is a national emergency — and I’m not doubting that for a moment in Sydney — then it is a national responsibility that Sydneysiders are locked into Sydney,” Mr Andrews told reporters on Friday.
“We need a ring of steel around Sydney so that this virus is not spreading into other parts of our nation.
“Let’s focus on what’s going on in Sydney, let’s focus on not spreading what’s going on in Sydney across the rest of our country.”
When questioned about how the ring of steel should be enforced around Sydney, Mr Andrews said it should follow how it was done in Victoria.
“You would do as we did, police, authorised officers and if you could get support from the ADF, whether that was for logistics and things of that nature, or whether it was boots on the ground, all of those conversations need to be had,” he said.
His words come after three Sydney removalists travelled through regional NSW and into Victoria more than a fortnight ago, where they delivered furniture to a Craigieburn home and Maribyrnong apartment complex, before heading towards South Australia.
Victorian health authorities said the trio breached their permit conditions as they brought the Delta Covid-19 strain to Victoria, plunging the state into its fifth lockdown.
“The last thing I want is Victorians to see off this second Delta outbreak only to have further incursions because of what’s going on in Sydney is not being contained to Sydney,” Mr Andrews said.
“We did it (ring of steel) last year to protect country Victoria and our country and the same must occur in relation to Sydney.”
The Premier said he would repeat the calls at a national cabinet meeting later on Friday.
Victoria recorded 14 new local cases on Friday – 10 of those were already in quarantine during their infectious period.
The state will have to wait to see whether its lockdown will be lifted at 11.59pm on Tuesday.
Originally published as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews calls for a ‘ring of steel’ around Sydney
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