Closed cities
Lisbon: perimeter closure on weekends
Restrictions on shops and restaurants
The cause: a more contagious mutation of COVID-19
Passed on before symptoms
Kuala Lumpur
Australia: four cities in lockdown
Sydney: 100 positives
Darwin: cluster in outback gold mine
Vaccination campaigns intensify
Australia: vaccinate to have more freedom
And tourism?
65% of all Portuguese cases occur in Lisbon
Same in Australia: the virus comes from abroad
Protecting the rest of the country
'After lockdown, life different than before'
UK delays return to normality
Germany calls for
Difficult road to post-pandemic life
New confinements or mask burnings?
A return to Lisbon... in the future
From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(1/21)
Closed cities

Thanks to vaccination campaigns, many parts of the planet see that the pandemic begins to subside. However, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is causing outbreaks that threaten the return to normality. It even forced big cities to close their gates - from Lisbon to Kuala Lumpur, Perth, and Sydney.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(2/21)
Lisbon: perimeter closure on weekends

The Portuguese capital of Lisbon has experienced an alarming increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. It prompted authorities to impose a perimeter closure of the city on weekends.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(3/21)
Restrictions on shops and restaurants

Restrictions on shops and restaurants in Lisbon have also returned to earlier lockdown levels.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(4/21)
The cause: a more contagious mutation of COVID-19

The Delta variant is causing a new spike in infections, the Portuguese and other governments say, because it is a more contagious mutation. Moreover, it bypasses the defences of those who have only had one dose of the vaccine.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(5/21)
Passed on before symptoms

Apart from its high contagiousness, researchers say, the Delta variant also has the downside that an infected person can pass the disease on to others before developing symptoms. This is not usually the case with other variants.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(6/21)
Kuala Lumpur

In Malaysia, daily infections began to peak in early June. Nationwide stay-at-home orders did nothing to change the situation of a country where "only 6 percent of... 33 million people are fully vaccinated," the New York Times reports. Therefore, the Malaysian government extended its lockdowns "indefinitely."

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(7/21)
Australia: four cities in lockdown

Outbreaks of the delta variant have forced four major Australian cities into lockdown: Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, and Darwin. An estimated 10 million Australians were under lockdown at some point (or all) of the past 10 days.

(Image: Sydney, by Laura Cros / Unsplash)

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(8/21)
Sydney: 100 positives

Al Jazeera reports that "the largest current outbreak is in Sydney, where more than 100 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since a driver for an international flight crew was diagnosed in mid-June." The city's residents had to stay at home for two weeks.

(Image: Deeva Sood / Unsplash)

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(9/21)
Darwin: cluster in outback gold mine

In Darwin, the outlet reports, "a small cluster linked to an outback gold mine" sent the city into lockdown. For the first time, "exposure sites" were discovered in the city, "which is home to a large Indigenous population feared to be more vulnerable to COVID-19," Al Jazeera specified.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(10/21)
Vaccination campaigns intensify

As the delta variant strikes harder among people without a full run of the COVID-19 vaccine, European and other countries are trying to accelerate the vaccination process. They want the majority of the population to have its complete immunization as soon as possible.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(11/21)
Australia: vaccinate to have more freedom

In fact, with regard to New South Wales, its Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced that "we need to vaccinate more of our population before we can live as freely as we would like."

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(12/21)
And tourism?

Lisbon, like Sydney, is a city that lives in a considerable part from tourism. The perimeter closure will not help the Portuguese capital's struggling economy to reactivate. Yet, the authorities insist that there is no other remedy.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(13/21)
65% of all Portuguese cases occur in Lisbon

Authorities see that international travel - via Lisbon - is causing the rise in cases. The new infections that Portugal is counting are mainly occurring in Lisbon. They soared above 800 per day at the time when the perimeter closure was decided upon.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(14/21)
Same in Australia: the virus comes from abroad

A similar effect is taking place in Australia. "We are having lockdowns in major cities because the overseas arrivals are bringing the virus here," Queensland state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. While tourism can help the economy recover from its decline in 2020, it can also cause new outbreaks and undo the steps to recovery.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(15/21)
Protecting the rest of the country

The perimeter closure of Lisbon is a lighter measure than the lockdowns in Australia. Portuguese authorities admit that the measures will not prevent an explosion of cases in the capital, but at least they can protect the rest of the country from catching it as well.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(16/21)
'After lockdown, life different than before'

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian warns residents of Sydney that more measures will be necessary after the initial closure. “When we do come out of the lockdown it won’t be what life looked like necessarily before we went into lockdown.”

(Image: Sydney business district, from Digby Cheung / Unsplash)

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(17/21)
UK delays return to normality

The delta variant of COVID-19 has caused a significant increase in infections and hospitalizations in Great Britain. As a consequence, Boris Johnson has delayed the return to normality and the end of the restrictions. Britain's "day of liberation," the end of restrictions that was supposed to happen on June 21, was moved to July 19.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(18/21)
Germany calls for "maximum prudence"

The delta variant is also spreading in Germany. In a few days, the delta variant went from representing 3.7% of cases in Germany to 6.2%. Authorities call for "maximum prudence" among the population and advise against any trips to areas where this variant is abundant, such as the UK.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(19/21)
Difficult road to post-pandemic life

The outbreak of the delta variant and the temporary closure of cities around the world show that the road to post-pandemic life is not so easy. Mutations complicate exit strategies and stopping them is extremely complicated in a globalized world.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(20/21)
New confinements or mask burnings?

We are now seeing the strange situation where, even within the European Union, some countries are re-entering the confinement stage with mandatory masks, while others celebrate the end of restrictions and the freedom to walk around without any facial covering.

From Sydney to Kuala Lumpur and Lisbon, cities lock down for COVID Delta variant
(21/21)
A return to Lisbon... in the future

Sooner or later, however, the pandemic will end - even in Lisbon. At some point, it will be possible again for international travellers to enjoy the beauties of the Portuguese capital.

(Image: Joao Reguengos / Unsplash)

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