Stage 4 lockdown with night curfew in Victoria
Premier Daniel Andrews said 671 new coronavirus cases had been detected since yesterday and seven more people had died. Six of the deaths have a connection to aged care.
State of disaster has been declared from 6pm tonight in addition to the state of emergency. Tougher new restrictions, including a night-time curfew, will be imposed across Melbourne under stage four restrictions from tonight and regional Victoria will return to stage three restrictions from Thursday.
Metropolitan Melbourne has been put under a curfew from 8pm tonight. This will run from 8pm to 5am every day.
“The only reason to be out of your home between the hours of 8pm and 5am is to get care, to give care, or to go to and from work or be at work. We can no longer have people visiting others. We can no longer have people simply out and about for no good reason whatsoever,” Mr Andrews said.
The Premier said there was an "unacceptably high" number of community transmission cases, and the state had 760 active "mystery" COVID-19 infections where the source of the transmission was not known.
"Those mysteries, that community transmission, is in many respects our biggest challenge and the reason why we need to move to a different set of rules," he said.
Mr Andrews said the state of disaster gave police greater power to help them enforce health directives and allowed authorities to suspend acts of Parliament. It meant any government agency or department could be directed to do what was needed to be done.
Police will be able to arrest people who are outside their homes during the curfew period, but Mr Andrews said he hoped it didn't come to that.
Restrictions at a glance:
- From 6:00pm tonight (2nd August) Melbourne residents can only shop within 5km.
- Only one person from each household is allowed out to get essential goods or services.
- No more than 1 hour of exercise, done within 5km of home.
- There will be a curfew between 8:00pm and 5:00am every day unless you meet exemptions (ie: if you're at work, giving care or getting care).
Public transport in Melbourne will be reduced during curfew hours and the entire Night Network will be suspended.
From midnight on Wednesday, weddings will not be able to be held in Melbourne. Victorian Governmnet will announce further restrictions on workplaces on Monday but stressed essential services will continue.
Regional Victoria will also go into stage three restrictions from midnight on Wednesday. The restrictions will apply for six weeks.
Victoria's chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton said he's optimistic a six-week lockdown should be enough to stop the state's coronavirus epidemic.
"It is entirely on everyone in Victoria to make sure (six weeks) is enough," Dr Sutton said.
"But it has to have everyone's cooperation and understanding” he added