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Australia Is Confiscating Booze From People It Has Forced Into Strict Lockdowns

(Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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Australia’s draconian measures aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 have cracked down on a new target: alcoholic beverages.

Health authorities in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, are policing alcohol deliveries to residents in locked-down apartment blocks. Residents are being limited to a daily ration of six beers or pre-mixed drinks, one bottle of wine or 375ml of spirits until lockdown restrictions are lifted, according to news.com.au.

The restrictions apply to residents in “NSW Health controlled buildings,” which contain patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and close contacts who are in isolation. Residents may consult a clinician if they wish to have more than the allowed limit of alcohol.

Residents of one building, Mission Australia’s Common Ground in Camperdown, said authorities are searching through care packages prior to delivery and confiscating excess drinks. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Australia Once Again Proves It Is Basically An Island Of Prisoners With COVID Restrictions)

“They are searching all bags and things coming into the building … They confiscated a series of gifts,” resident Robin Elhaj told news.com.au. “So things like bottles of spirits, we weren’t allowed to have those and we still (aren’t).”

NSW Health said the restriction is to “ensure the safety of health staff and residents.”

The alcohol limit is the latest measure imposed by Australian authorities as a part of what has become one of the strictest lockdowns in the world. The country’s home quarantine app is using facial recognition technology to ensure residents aren’t leaving their houses, and NSW Health is only allowing vaccinated residents to have one extra hour of outdoor recreational time in addition to their one allotted hour for exercise.

A rural council in NSW recently came under fire for executing shelter dogs to prevent volunteers from leaving their homes to come pick the animals up. Meanwhile, the state of Victoria recently banned residents from removing their masks while outside to drink alcohol, and the Australian army has been deployed to enforce certain lockdown measures. (RELATED: ANALYSIS: Australia Was A COVID-19 Media Darling. Now They’re Shooting Dogs To Slow The Spread)

The most recent round of lockdowns, which encompassed 13 million Australians, were kicked off after the detection of five deaths from the delta variant. The country of nearly 26 million people has reported 1,722 new cases in the last 24 hours and has reported 1,060 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.