The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Australia: Victoria declares ‘State of Disaster’ amid soaring COVID-19 numbers

The Premier of the Australian state of Victoria has announced a “state of disaster” following 671 new COVID-19 infections in a single day.

Daniel Andrews told Victorians that there would be a nightly curfew between 8pm and 5am, beginning on Sunday evening, moving Metropolitan Melbourne into Level Four lockdown measures.

Outside of Metropolitan Melbourne, regional Victoria will be placed under Level Three restrictions starting at midnight on Wednesday.

Both levels mean that all hospitality venues – including bars, clubs and pubs – will be closed. Cafes and restaurants are only able to offer takeaway or delivery services.

In Melbourne, only one person per household will be allowed to leave their homes once a day – outside of curfew hours – to pick up essential goods, and they must stay within a 5km radius of their home.

“Our health experts tell us the measures we’ve introduced are working. But too slowly,” says Premier Daniel Andrews.

“The current rate of community transmission – mystery cases that cannot be traced back to work or home – is far too high.

“As they tell us, based on the current numbers, cases might begin to drop off not in days or weeks – but in months. Months more of lockdown restrictions. Months more of 300, 400, 500 cases a day.

“We must do more. We must go harder. It’s the only way we’ll get to the other side of this.”

Seven new deaths were announced in Victoria on Saturday, bringing the state’s total to 123 with 11,557 confirmed infections.

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