The Australian city of Sydney on Saturday ordered a shutdown of building sites, banned non-essential retail, and threatened fines for employers who make staff come into the office as new COVID-19 cases kept rising three weeks into a citywide lockdown.

Australian authorities clamped down on people's movements out of virus hotspots in the city's southwest, banning locals from leaving their neighborhoods unless they worked in emergency services or health care. The tightening of restrictions, including a pause on all construction work in the city, comes as over six million residents completed their third week under stay-at-home orders. The city already has a work-from-home directive for businesses, but employers who told staff to attend the office could be fined A$10,000 ($7,402.00).

Authorities in New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital, also banned hundreds of thousands of people in the city’s western suburbs — the worst affected area — from leaving their immediate neighborhoods for work, as they recorded 111 new cases in the prior 24 hours, up from 97 the day before. The state also recorded an additional death from the virus, taking the total to three since the start of the year and the national total to 913 since the pandemic began.

Australia avoided the high infection and fatality numbers of many other countries in the initial stages of the pandemic due to an assertive response that included closing borders, stay-home orders, and economic stimulus measures.