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Melbourne stage 4: Tough lockdown measures, 671 new virus cases in Victoria

The Advertiser 2020-08-02 10:31:00

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a raft to tough new restrictions to try and stem spiralling coronavirus cases as the state recorded 671 new coronavirus infections overnight.

It takes the total number of cases in Victoria to 11,557, of which 6322 are active.

Seven more people have died in the past 24 hours, taking the state’s death toll to 123. The seven deaths included three women in their 70s, two women in their 80s and a man and woman in their 90, with six of the seven linked to aged-care.

Melburnians and people in the Mitchell Shire will no longer be able to travel more than 5km from their home as the Premier revealed metropolitan Melbourne would move to tougher restrictions from 6pm on Sunday night.

Mr Andrews said there would also be an 8pm-5am curfew every day, beginning on Sunday, with the only reason to be out of your home to get care, give care or travel to and from work.

He said regional Victoria would also return stage three restrictions from midnight on Wednesday.

The Premier also declared a state of disaster for Victoria, along with the continuing state of emergency to give police and authorities greater powers.

He said the new restrictions would run for at least six weeks until September 13.

Mr Andrews said he plans to outline further restrictions for businesses on Monday.

“These are the decisions made because anything short of this will not keep us safe,” he said.

“Anything short of this will see it drag on for months and months and months. That is not acceptable to having to stand up here every day reporting more and more people dying.”

He said the virus was not running wild with thousands of new cases every day but under the current lockdown the infections could take up to six months to bring under control.

“The best we could hope for if we didn't make these decisions or changes, if I ignored the advice rather than following it, would be that we might get ourselves into a low number in four, five, six months time,” Mr Andrews said.

A total of 385 Victorians are in hospital, up from 379 on Saturday, with 38 in intensive care.

Of the 672 new cases, only 73 were linked to known outbreaks and 598 were under investigation.

Active cases among healthcare workers is now 649, while there are 1053 cases linked to aged-care facilities.

Mr Andrews said on Saturday there was a “growing concern for community transmission”, with 760 of Victoria’s new infections recorded in recently total “mystery cases”, which meant contacts could not be traced back to the point of infection.

It comes as police clamped down on Victorians flouting the chief health officer’s directions with record numbers of fines handed out in the past two days.

Saturday’s 170 infringements beat the previous day’s 168 – the highest single day since the lockdown was reinstated in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire on July 8.

Police Minister Lisa Neville said the overwhelming majority of Victorians were doing the right thing but authorities were still continuing to see “appalling behaviour”.

“If you’re thinking you can get around these rules, find ways to get around these rules, Victoria Police will be there. It’s the best way we can get out of these lockdowns if we all abide by the rules,” she said.

Originally published as Vic lockdown: What you can and can’t do