Nearly five million Melbourne residents have been ordered back into another lockdown after Coronavirus cases surged in Australia’s second-largest city on Tuesday, July 7.
From midnight on Wednesday, July, 8, everyone in Melbourne will be required to stay home unless travelling to work, studying, shopping for food, or attending medical appointments. Restaurants, cafes, and bars will be able to provide takeaway service only, gyms and hair salons closed, household gatherings limited to two people and the current school vacation extended.
Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews announced a six-week lockdown, warning “we can’t pretend” the virus crisis is over.
After the south-eastern city detected 191 of the 199 new cases reported nationally on Tuesday, the biggest one-day rise since early April, Andrews said there were now too many to trace properly, so restrictions were needed.
“These are unsustainably high numbers,” he said. “No-one wanted to be in this position. I know there will be enormous amounts of damage that will be done because of this. It will be very challenging.”
“We have to be clear with each other that this is not over,” Andrews said. “And pretending that it is because we all want it to be over is not the answer. It is indeed part of the problem. A very big part of the problem.”
The decision was made hours before the busy border between Victoria and New South Wales was scheduled to be closed for the first time in a century.
Australia has recorded almost 9,000 cases of COVID-19 and 106 deaths from the virus.