Australian state of Victoria imposes curfew, state of disaster to contain coronavirus

Coronavirus: 'Stage 4' Covid-19 lockdown imminent in Melbourne as deaths mount

Melbourne is going into lockdown tonight, as part of sweeping new restrictions to try to stop the rapid community spread of Covid-19 in the Australian state.

Regional Victoria will move to stage-three restrictions from Thursday, meaning restaurants, cafes, bars and gyms will close from midnight.

The restrictions mean from 11.59pm Wednesday the only reason people in regional Victoria will be able to leave home is for shopping for food and essentials, care and caregiving, work and study, and daily exercise.

"We have no choice but to make these decisions and to push on", Andrews said.

Victoria accounts for the vast majority of active coronavirus cases in Australia, recording 671 new cases and seven deaths from the virus Sunday.

As it now stands, there are a staggering 760 cases across Victoria that are unable to be traced back to an original source, which is of utmost concern to the Andrews government.

"If you have that many cases of community transmission, you must assume you have even more and on that basis you can no longer be confident that you've got a precise understanding of how much virus is there. I'm not making any commitments on that and not suggesting if we got to a certain threshold we'd be able to go back to these restrictions prior to me standing up today or another level", he said, according to the Guardian.

"The time for leniency, the time for warnings and cautions is over", Andrews said.

On July 8 people in Melbourne were given stay-at-home orders which authorities said would last for six weeks.

Weddings will also be banned in the city.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media during a press conference on August 02, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.

The State of Disaster in Victoria, in place from 6pm on Sunday night, will exist in addition to the State of Emergency already in place, which gives police additional powers.

Meanwhile, a group of Victorian teachers and parents has written an open letter asking Professor Sutton to reconsider his health advice about schools continuing to remain open.

The announcement caps an intensely hard year for the state; Victoria last used its state of disaster distinction when bushfires were tearing through much of the region at the turn of the year.

"We need to do more".

"We ask that our customers continue to adhere to our social distancing and hygiene measures while in store and continue to treat our team and each other with respect while shopping".

South Australia has recorded two new cases, one a young woman who attended a school while likely infectious.

On Saturday, the state of Victoria reported 397 new COVID-19 cases.

Queensland confirmed one positive case on Sunday, a young consular staff member who was infectious on a domestic flight after returning from overseas.

Moves being considered as part of the stage four response include an nearly total shutdown of Melbourne's bus, tram and rail networks, stricter rules that would force residents to stay even closer to their homes and the shutdown of many more businesses.



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