Police lock 84 people in Australia's Byron Bay hostel after 1 Covid-19 case

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) – A backpackers’ hostel in Australia’s popular beach town of Byron Bay in New South Wales (NSW) has been locked down after a positive Covid-19 case, just days before the area is expecting thousands of school graduates to arrive for year-end celebrations.

The police are stationed outside the Aquarius Backpackers to make sure the 84 staff and guests remain inside for 48 hours, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported.

Those locked down in the venue are being supported with food and healthcare, local MP Tamara Smith said on Facebook.

A woman from Victoria state who was living at the hostel tested positive, the ABC reported.

Byron Shire’s vaccination rate has lagged behind that of the broader state, sparking fears there could be an outbreak in the area as New South Wales reopens following months of travel restrictions.

Still, nearly 81 per cent of residents aged 16 and over are now fully inoculated, data shows, compared with 92.1 per cent statewide.

NSW posted 276 new daily cases on Thursday (Nov 25), while Victoria, the country’s second-most populous state, recorded 1,254.

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