Spike in Covid-19 cases in Australias Victoria stalls sports restart

Queensland border to reopen on July 10

The Australian state of Victoria has banned all global flights for 14 days over COVID-91 spike fears.

Residents in the suburbs must stay home unless travelling for work, school, healthcare, exercise or food for a period of four weeks.

From July 3, pubs, cafes, restaurants and clubs will not be restricted to a maximum number of people, provided there is 4 sq/m of space per person.

Tough border measures will also be introduced for anyone coming from Victoria, including mandatory hotel quarantine.

"We are all in this together and this is going to be deeply disruptive for those 10 postcodes. If we do not do this now, then I won't be locking down 10 postcodes, I will be locking down all postcodes".

The return to lockdown is a devastating setback for the home state of almost a quarter of Australia's 25 million people, widely seen to have taken one of the toughest enforcement approaches when the country first went into lockdown in March.

But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned that strict measures could be reinstated if other states experience break-out coronavirus clusters such as the current outbreak in Victoria, which recorded another 64 cases overnight.

The suburbs with the highest number of new cases in the state are Broadmeadows, Fawkner and Auburn Vale. The country has had 104 deaths from about 7,800 infections.

A person receives a Covid-19 swab test at a coronavirus pop-up testing facility in a north Melbourne suburb last week.

"On enforcement, Victoria police will be actively, actively enforcing these suburban lockdowns, this stay-at-home order", he announced.

"We've been through this before and we now have to go through it again", Lambros Tapinos, the mayor of several affected postcodes told Reuters by telephone.

"We know that this will have a dramatic effect on the AFL but we are adopting a position in South Australia which is not dissimilar to what has been announced for Queensland", he said.

"This decision will be hard for those with loved ones in Victoria but we can't risk South Australia going backwards".

Last week, New South Wales, the country's most populous state, said it would continue to keep its border open as it focused on supporting its economy amid the pandemic.



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