Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews unveiled harsh new lockdown restrictions on Sunday afternoon and declared a ‘state of disaster’, following confirmation that the state had recorded 671 new cases of Covid-19.
Addressing the media, the Victorian leader confirmed that Melbourne will have to adhere to harsher restrictions from 6pm tonight (Sunday), including a nightly curfew and stricter guidelines around shopping. These new restrictions are expected to be in place until at least September 13, 2020.
From 6pm on Sunday, only one member of a household can visit a shop, and the store must be within 5km of their home. In addition, a curfew is being introduced between 8pm and 5am daily. The only reason residents can now leave home between those times is to give care, receive care or go to work. Residents will also be limited to one hour of exercise per day.
Victoria also recorded a further seven deaths over the past 24 hours, including three women in their 70s, two women in their 80s, one man in his 90s and one woman in her 90s.
Regional Victoria will also face increased restrictions from Wednesday, with all areas entering stage three lockdown. Andrews said: “That’s stay at home, except for the four reasons to leaving. That will mean restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, a whole range of other settings will need to close from midnight next Wednesday.”
Today’s numbers mark the second-worst day so far for the southern state. Victoria’s highest daily case number was recorded on Thursday when the premier announced 723 new cases in just 24 hours.
Following that announcement, stricter new guidelines were introduced for people living in six government areas. Andrews said: “159 of those 255 active cases are from six local government areas that surrounding the Geelong corridor. From 11.59pm tonight, in the local government areas of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains, Colac Otway, and the Borough of Queenscliff, people will no longer be able to have visitors to their home. You cannot visit friends, they cannot visit you.
“Hospitality venues will remain open. Some of the transmission is household to household, and that makes sense when you think about it. People are not necessarily keeping their distance in their family home.”
In addition, the guidelines around mandatory face masks will be extended from tomorrow to include all Victorians. The premier said: “Every single person in regional Victoria when out of their home will need to wear a mask or face covering.” Andrews said these preventative measures are being introduced to keep numbers low in regional Victoria.
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