Opinion

Sydney's coronavirus outbreak highlights hard choices

By John Quiggin
July 12 2021 - 5:30pm
NSW police officers patrol the Opera House on Sunday after new lockdown restrictions were tightened. Picture: Getty Images

The COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney, still growing rapidly, has upended dominant assumptions about pandemic policy in Australia. The successful containment of outbreaks in Sydney last year created a belief that the combination of hotel quarantine and effective contact tracing was sufficient to prevent any large-scale outbreaks. This assumption reflected a combination of wishful thinking, a poor understanding of uncertainty, and an unfortunate resurgence of state-level parochialism.

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