The second-biggest city in Australia now has a curfew and a 5km travel limit
- Melbourne, Australia's second-biggest city, has gone into stage-four lockdown after reporting a new spike of coronavirus infections.
- The new lockdown restrictions include an overnight curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 and banning residents from travelling more than 5 kilometres from their home.
- The curfew and new lockdown measures will remain in place until at least September 13, although state officials have said that the six weeks curfew could be shortened.
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A new spike in coronavirus cases has prompted Australia's second-biggest city, Melbourne, to go into a stage-four lockdown. Restrictions include an overnight curfew and banning residents from travelling more than 5 kilometres from their home.
The curfew in Melbourne - the capital of the southeastern state of Victoria - will come into effect as of Sunday evening and will last for at least six weeks, the state premier Daniel Andrews announced Sunday morning.
Andrews also declared a state of disaster in Victoria for the first time since the bushfires that devastated the region earlier this year.
"We can no longer have people simply out and about for no good reason whatsoever," Andrews said on Sunday, according to the Guardian.
"It is not an easy decision to make but it is necessary and that's why I've made it and that's why police will be out in force and you will be stopped and you will be asked and need to demonstrate that you are lawfully out and you are not breaching that curfew," he added.
Under the new restrictions, Melbourne residents will only be allowed to go shopping for essentials and exercise within 5 kilometres of their home. Exercise outside the home will be restricted to once a day, for one hour at a time.
A regional stage-three lockdown means that all restaurants, bars, shops, and gyms in Victoria will have to close again starting Thursday.
The night-time curfew will be enforced between 20:00 and 05:00 and Andrews has already said that he has already given police additional power to make sure these rules are enforced.
"These are big steps but they are necessary. We have got to limit the amount of movement, therefore limiting the amount of transmission of this virus. We have to clamp down on this," Andrews said according to the BBC.
Victoria reported 671 new coronavirus cases and seven new deaths on Sunday, bringing the total number of infections to more than 11,500 and 123 deaths, according to a state government tracker.
The resurgence of the virus in Melbourne has proved to be a major setback for the country, which looked as if it had the outbreak under control.
The curfew and new lockdown measures will remain in place until at least September 13, although Andrews has said that the six weeks curfew could be shortened.
"If everyone plays their part there is some prospect we can achieve our outcome before then. 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.
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