State of disaster for virus-hit Victoria
A state of disaster has been declared in Victoria as the state tightens COVID-19 restrictions and implements a nightly curfew in Melbourne.
Premier Daniel Andrews warned that from 6pm on Sunday police will have additional powers to make sure people are complying with public health directions.
The move to harsher restrictions comes as coronavirus cases continue to yo-yo, more than halfway through the state's initial six-week lockdown.
"If we don't make these changes, we're not going to get through this," Mr Andrews told reporters.
"We need to do more. That is what these decisions are about."
Under the 'stage four' restrictions, Melbourne residents will only be allowed to exercise for an hour a day and can't travel more than 5km from home for the purpose of shopping.
Only one person from each household will be able to go to the shops each day.
Metropolitan Melbourne will be under a nightly curfew, between the hours of 8pm to 5am, from Sunday night with some exemptions for those providing care and travelling to and from work.
Regional Victoria will move to 'stage three' restrictions, with restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms and other businesses to shut from midnight on Wednesday.
The premier flagged further announcements would be made about workplaces on Monday, including the closure of certain industries.
"I want to ensure all Victorians supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there," he said.
Victoria recorded seven new deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, taking the national toll to 208, along with 671 new cases.
Six of the deaths were connected to the age care sector.
Seventy-three of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks while 598 remain under investigation.
© AAP 2020
Statement on Melbourne moving to Stage 4 restrictions: pic.twitter.com/mFu1Kr1NO0— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 2, 2020
And a full breakdown of the changes is available here: pic.twitter.com/LevLIefSOL— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 2, 2020