Australia's Victoria imposes curfew in effort to contain COVID-19

Andrew Cummings
August 3, 2020

Andrews also declared a state of disaster in Victoria for the first time since the bushfires that devastated the region earlier this year.

Australia has fared better than many countries, with 18,361 coronavirus cases and 221 deaths, but now risks losing control of the virus in Victoria state which has imposed the country's harshest movement restrictions to date.

The government in country's second-most populous state is expected to announce that movement and businesses will be severely restricted in the state's capital Melbourne for at least six weeks from Wednesday, media reported.

Australia's second largest city, already under a reimposed six-week stay-at-home order, has struggled to contain the new coronavirus, with a record number of infections reported last week.

The stage four restrictions in Melbourne will see the imposition of a curfew that prohibits residents from leaving their homes between 8pm and 5am every night, except for work or caregiving.

The state premier of Australia's Victoria has declared a state of disaster to help contain the surge in coronavirus cases as he reported 671 new infections - nearly double the previous day.

Yesterday, Victoria recorded 671 cases - one of its highest spikes - and seven deaths.

As this developed, Melbourne residents headed to the supermarket on Sunday before a new lockdown.

Only one person per household can spend up to one hour away from home to shop within the 5 kms radius.

Meanwhile, regional Victoria has moved to stage three restrictions, with restaurants, cafes, bars and gyms to shut from midnight on Wednesday.

"We can no longer have people simply out and about for no good reason whatsoever", Andrews said on Sunday, according to the Guardian. "We have to clamp down on this", he added. We must go harder.

"It's the only way we'll get to the other side of this".

The state of disaster, which was supported by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, also gives police additional powers to ensure the public comply with the measures.

Restrictions announced on Sunday included a curfew from 8 5 a.m. for six weeks, barring the city's almost five million people from leaving their homes except for work or to receive or give care.

While Monday's predicted cases total is significantly lower than Sunday's, the fluctuating nature of the daily total in recent weeks has meant Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has been reluctant to pin the state's hopes on such a short period of improving results.

Other reports by iNewsToday