The cat and mouse game with the fast-spreading COVID-19 Delta variant is on in Australia's two biggest cities - Sydney and Melbourne.
About 12 million Australians are in lockdown. State borders are closing again. Lives and billions of dollars in lost revenue are at risk. And the cases we are seeing now are around five days after transmission. Too many cases in Sydney have been out infectious in the community.
Sydneysiders are now told to treat everyone else as if they have COVID-19. The message is "stay at home".
For lockdown-weary Melburnians it is the fifth go-around, while Sydney is grappling with the idea of going hard. Its leaders, past opponents of strict lockdowns, have stopped short despite positive COVID-19 case numbers staying in the high double digits.
"If we need to go harder, of course, we will," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
"But we need to make sure that any measures that are put in place are going to hit the mark and are going to do the job we need them to do."
So what is going awry? There's mixed messaging about who is an essential worker allowed to get out and about. It is just not clear.
The messaging to stay at home has, in the main, been left to the individual. For now.
But it is not just workers. It is also the question of what is essential shopping. And in the middle of the outbreak police have pointed to cases like that of a young Sydney man who has been fined for holding an alleged pop-up party in a van in the beachside suburb of Manly.
"When spoken to, the young man tried to convince it was some sort of marketing strategy or exercise strategy," revealed NSW Police deputy commissioner Gary Worboys.
"When clearly, clearly, it wasn't."
And what are the leaders and their families doing? The 20-year-old daughter of NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has been fined $1000 for breaching Covid health directions. Police allege Domenica Barilaro travelled from regional NSW to Sydney then to the ACT, before returning to her home in regional NSW last Friday.
The main doctors' group, the Australian Medical Association, is calling for a stricter Sydney lockdown.
The AMA wants the NSW government to close of all non-essential retail outlets, non-essential services and review limits on how far people can travel from their home.
"The way things are going the number of cases is not decreasing," AMA president Dr Omar Khorshid said.
"That means Sydney is looking at the lockdown continuing indefinitely."
All of this comes back to the broad lack of vaccination protection for the Australian population. COVID-19 vaccine supply for people under 60 is not there.
There was a record Australian day of vaccine doses administered on Friday: 175,002. Currently, 10.5 per cent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated. Just 28 per cent has had one dose of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.
Of the Sydney outbreak, there are currently 75 COVID-19 cases in hospital. Eighteen people are in intensive care and five are being ventilated.
The NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said only one of the people in ICU had received one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Pfizer supply boost starts on Monday - a promise of 1 million doses a week to start to cover the people who want a shot but can't get one.
A further ramp up is expected later in the year, but greater vaccination cannot come soon enough.
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