Stop flouting virus rules, warns Morrison

Scott Morrison says Australians need to do the right thing by their neighbours and abide by COVID-19 restrictions.

The prime minister and premiers on Friday discussed concerns about the Sydney outbreak, which has now seeded Delta outbreaks in regional NSW and other states and territories.

“We saw the cases, up in northern NSW, where someone just doesn’t comply – look at the damage that causes,” the prime minister told reporters after the national cabinet meeting.

“We’ve got to do the right thing by each other. We’ve got to do the right thing by our neighbours, our communities, our city, our country.

“You can do that by following the rules, staying at home, getting vaccinated and getting tested.” 

NSW chalked up another grim record of 390 new local cases on Friday, while two people died from the disease taking the national toll to 948.

Looking for a silver lining, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said vaccinations had lowered the death rates compared with last year’s outbreak in Victoria.

“This is clearly our third wave in Australia,” he said.

He said Victoria, Queensland and the ACT were experiencing outbreaks of lesser concern.

Professor Kelly believes targeted vaccination and compliance will drive numbers down.

“People need to have hope and patience.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, whose state recorded seven new local cases, called for a clear containment plan from the NSW government.

“The last thing we want to see is this virus spread north, the virus spread south, and spread across the nation,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has repeatedly urged Ms Berejiklian to erect a “ring of steel” around Sydney to stop the disease escaping the city.

Melbourne recorded 15 new cases including four mystery infections on Friday, the third consecutive day of unlinked transmission.

The ACT is in lockdown until Thursday with six confirmed local cases, including a 14-year-old high school student.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said if her government was advised to do more to restrict people’s movement in areas surrounding the ACT and on the south coast she would take action.

But she said it came down to people obeying the rules and getting vaccinated.

“Delta does not leave any room for even one or two people doing the wrong thing,” she said.

So far 14.75 million people have received at least one dose, taking the rate of fully vaccinated Australians to 25 per cent.

Governments have agreed to start easing restrictions from a vaccination rate of 70 per cent and all-but ending the need for lockdowns from 80 per cent.


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