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COVID-19: Melbourne imposes curfew to curb spread

(Melbourne) Australia announced a curfew in Melbourne on Sunday to tackle the resurgence of COVID cases – 18 in the second city of the country, whose inhabitants will no longer be allowed to leave more than five kilometers from their homes.

France Media Agency

Despite a lockdown introduced in early July, Melbourne continued to register hundreds of new cases daily. The local authorities therefore decided to put in place a curfew from 19 to 5 a.m. next six weeks.

Declaring a “state of disaster” on Sunday, Daniel Andrews, the Prime Minister of the state of Victoria, explained that the state capital was moving to “phase 4” restrictions until 13 September because of “unacceptably high” contamination levels.

The people of Melbourne will not be allowed to go out for more than an hour of sporting activity during the day, and within a five kilometer radius of their home.

Only one person per household will have the right to shop each day, also within a radius of five kilometers.

PHOTO ERIK ANDERSON, ASSOCIATED PRESS

A long line of customers has formed in front of a supermarket a few hours before the curfew is in place.

A few weeks after returning to class, most of the students from schools and universities will resume lessons via the Internet from midnight Wednesday, while nurseries and other reception facilities will be closed from Thursday.

Weddings are canceled in the city until further notice. At the height of the first wave of the pandemic, marriages had been limited to five people in Australia.

“We made these decisions because doing less than it will not protect us,” said Andrews. “Doing less than that will make the problem last for months and months.”

“The time is no longer for laxity, the time for warnings is over,” said Andrews. “If you are not home when you should be there, if you have the virus and go about your normal life, steadfastness will apply. There are lives at stake. ”

Additional restrictions on workplaces will be announced on Monday, he said, suggesting that non-essential activities could be halted.

The State of Victoria identified 671 new cases of COVID on Sunday – 19 and seven dead.

Outside of Melbourne, the rest of the state will move to phase 3 containment from midnight Wednesday. Residents will only be able to leave their homes to work, go to school and buy basic necessities.

Other Australian states, easing restrictions, have reported no or very few new cases for weeks. But they closed their doors to the inhabitants of Victoria and Sydney, another point of contamination.

In total, nearly 18 000 cases of novel coronavirus and at least 123 Deaths have been recorded in Australia, which has some 21 million inhabitants.

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