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Sydney COVID lockdown extended as double-dip recession fears grow

Australia's tight rules and low vaccination rate threaten economic comeback

SYDNEY -- The highly contagious delta strain of COVID-19 is threatening to upend an Australian economy that has weathered the pandemic well, forcing an extension of Sydney's lockdown on Wednesday and raising the possibility of a double-dip recession.

Half the country's 25 million people have been under strict stay-home orders across the state capitals of Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide after infections leaked into the community from returning citizens. A botched vaccine rollout, meanwhile, has further exposed the island nation even as the U.S., U.K. and Europe rush to reopen their economies.

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