The Australian state of Victoria goes back into lockdown.

Just a week after emerging from its fifth coronavirus lockdown, the Australian state of Victoria reimposed restrictions on Thursday as officials tried to avert a prolonged outbreak of the Delta variant like the one seen in the country’s largest city, Sydney.

The authorities in Victoria — which includes Melbourne, the second largest city — said that they had detected eight new cases of the virus on Thursday, including five that they could not immediately link to known infections. The discovery prompted state officials to declare a new seven-day lockdown beginning Thursday evening.

“None of us want to be in a situation where we have to lock down again, but this Delta variant moves so fast,” the state’s premier, Daniel Andrews, said at a news conference. With even a handful of unlinked cases, he added, “there is no alternative for us but to listen to our public health experts.”

The crisis that Victoria is trying to avoid is unfolding in neighboring New South Wales, where the authorities on Thursday reported a record 262 new infections, and five deaths, in an outbreak that began in the Sydney suburbs and has spread to outlying areas of the state despite a seven-week lockdown in many areas.

Health officials said that the virus was infecting younger people who were less likely to be vaccinated. Only 16 percent of Australians have been fully vaccinated, and only people 40 and older are universally eligible for shots. One of the new clusters in New South Wales involves a beach party in the northern part of the state that was attended by young people from the Sydney area, officials said.

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