The Australian second-largest city, Melbourne, is set to enter a snap lockdown late on Thursday after it established two more local cases of the virus.
The latest outbreak takes the total number of virus cases there to 18.
It is the fifth lockdown the Australian State of Victoria has witnessed since the pandemic started. It will last until Tuesday.
The decision by Victoria implies that about 40% of Australia’s population is now under a stay-at-home order.
“You only get one chance to go hard and go fast. If you wait, if you hesitate, if you doubt, then you will always be looking back wishing you had done more earlier,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews mentioned.
“I am not prepared to avoid a five-day lockdown now only to find ourselves in a five-week or a five-month lockdown. That is why we are making this very difficult decision.”
Inhabitants in the state of 6.6 million people will have to stay home, excluding grocery shopping, essential work, exercise and getting vaccinated.
Melbourne had largely evaded new cases despite an outbreak in the adjacent state of New South Wales, home to the country’s largest city Sydney.
However, earlier this week, a team of Sydney furniture movers travelled to Melbourne, leading to a surge in cases.
New South Wales is also in a five-week lockdown, which will stay until the end of the month.
Authorities say it’s not sure if the lockdown will end then as cases have surged in recent days. The city now has almost 1,000 cases, primarily caused by the highly infectious Delta variant.