Australia's government to back Victoria's strict coronavirus lockdown
02 August, 2020, 15:24
The premier of Victoria plunged the region into a "state of disaster" on Sunday, announcing even stricter lockdown measures, introducing a nightly curfew and banning virtually all trips outdoors after Australia's second largest state recorded 671 new infections in a single day.
Regional VIC will also move to stage 3 restrictions from midnight Wednesday.
Andrews accepted that residents "will feel scared and sad and anxious", but told them: "We are Victorians - and we will get through this as Victorians".
"They'll need to secure the goods and services that are what you need within a five kilometre radius", Andrews said.
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.
The state's government also expressed frustration on Saturday with the "appalling behaviour" of some people who had been fined by police for breaching the present restrictions, with one man telling officers he had driven from Melbourne to the town of Wodonga - 300 kilometres away - to buy a hamburger.
Andrews said further restrictions were needed to act as a "circuit breaker" to curb community transmission, as he acknowledged tougher restriction would take an economic toll. We have got to limit the amount of movement, therefore limiting the amount of transmission of this virus. "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".
Exceptions to this rule will be made for people going to work, to seek medical help or to care for others.
Restaurants and cafes in those areas will be restricted to offering takeaway or home deliveries.
Childcare services will also be closed, with exemptions for vulnerable children and the children of essential workers.
However, he said he would announce restrictions for businesses on Monday.
Victoria's school, TAFE and university students will need to retun to remote learning.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said people were now being "strongly encouraged" to wear masks, particularly on public transport, in shops and at places of worship as the state attempts to avoid the fate of neighbouring Victoria. "There's no question these are very hard times in Victoria".
"Therefore we have to do more, and we have to do more right now", he said.
"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".
The woman was a close contact of a known COVID-19 case and has been placed in hotel quarantine.
Victoria reported one of its highest-ever rates of coronavirus infections on Sunday.
Melbourne is already under a reimposed six-week stay-home order, but it has been struggling to rein in COVID-19.