Coronavirus: Melbourne brings in tighter restrictions as state of disaster is declared

Sunday 2nd August 2020 15:45 BST

Sweeping new restrictions came into force 6pm local time on Sunday, including:

  • An evening curfew implemented from 8pm to 5am
  • Those living in the city only allowed to shop and exercise within 3 miles (5km) of their homes
  • Exercise to be limited to one hour per day
  • Only one person per household allow to shop
  • Gatherings of no more than two people
  • All students across the state returning to home-based learning
  • Childcare centres to close

State premier Daniel Andrews said the state of disaster proclamation gave police greater powers.

He added that 671 new coronavirus cases had been detected since Saturday, as well as seven deaths.

Less severe restrictions will be reimposed across the rest of the state of Victoria from Wednesday but will include the closing of schools and childcare settings.

Melbourne may be placed under a six-week period of more stringent constraints, including the almost complete shutdown of its public transport network, starting from Wednesday, according to The Sunday Age.

Mr Andrews will announce the new measures over the next two days, according to The Sunday Herald.

The restrictions would include the closure of more businesses selling non-essential goods.

Writing on his Facebook page Mr Daniels said: "Basically 'staying at home' needs to mean exactly that. No loopholes. No excuses."

The state of disaster has been declared after a steady rise in both deaths and infections over the past six weeks in Victoria.

The deaths in the state took Australia's fatalities to 208.

Mr Andrews said: "If we don't make these changes, we're not going to get through this.

"We need to do more. That is what these decisions are about."

He added there would be more announcements about workplaces on Monday, including the closure of certain industries.

Mr Andrews continued: "I want to ensure all Victorians - supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings - there will be no impact there."

New South Wales confirmed its first coronavirus-related death in more than a month on Sunday as authorities sought to suppress a number of growing clusters at a hotel and several restaurants in Sydney.

The measures in Victoria comes as India's coronavirus caseload crossed 1.75 million with another spike of 54,735 in the past 24 hours.

The new cases in India are down from 57,118 on Saturday.

The country's health ministry also reported 853 deaths on Sunday for a total of 37,364.

Randeep Guleria, a top government expert, said that New Delhi and Mumbai may have crossed their peak levels with declining trends.

The month of July alone has accounted for more than 1.1 million cases in India.

South Korea has reported 30 additional cases of the coronavirus, most of them associated with international arrivals.

The cases announced Sunday by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought the national tally to 14,366 with 301 deaths.

The agency says eight of the newly confirmed cases were locally infected while the rest came from overseas.

South Korea has recently seen an uptick in imported cases, many of them South Korean construction workers airlifted out of virus-ravaged Iraq and crew members of Russia-flagged cargo ships docked in local ports.

Health authorities have said imported cases are less threatening as they continue to enforce two-week quarantines on all people arriving from abroad.

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