Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has declared a state of disaster across Victoria from 6pm Sunday, in addition to the existing state of emergency.
Police are also being given additional powers.
Mr Andrews has announced stage four restrictions for Melbourne and Mitchell Shire and stage three restrictions for the rest of the state.
It comes as seven people died in the state in the past 24 hours and another 671 new cases of coronavirus were recorded.
Mr Andrews has announced regional Victoria will move to stage three restrictions, where there are only four reasons to leave the house.
“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.”
IN OTHER NEWS:
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.
He said it was with some regret from midnight next Wednesday regional Victoria would move to stay at home restrictions and restaurants, cafes, gyms and bars would need to close.
He said businesses could return to take-away only.
From Wednesday, all Victorian schools will return to remote and flexible online learning, but special schools and children of essential workers could still attend. He said more students would be allowed at regional schools because more parents would be working.
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.
Earlier today, the NSW premier “strongly recommended” all NSW residents wear face masks.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said while it was not compulsory NSW residents should wear masks in public when social distancing couldn’t be guaranteed such as on public transport or in a grocery store.
Ms Berejiklian urged customer-facing staff to wear masks, as well as residents attending a place of worship and anyone in areas where there was high community transmission.
Victoria in a state of disaster from 6pm tonight.
Stage 4 restrictions from 6pm tonight.
A curfew of 8pm to 5am – only reason to leave home during those hours will be work,medical care and caregiving. @10NewsFirstMelbpic.twitter.com/z8ExsPdNji
— Annie Kearney (@anniemaykearney) August 2, 2020
“I can’t stress enough that the next few weeks will make or break us in terms of the way we get through this pandemic and that’s why I’m urging everyone to take this advice,” she said.
On Saturday, Mr Andrews announced only 397 cases of COVID-19 were detected but three people had died.
Mr Andrews the number was daily number was “significant” but there is a growing concern among the community transmission numbers.
“To those who are not following the rules you need to think for a moment,” Mr Andrews said.
“This will not end anytime soon if people don’t follow those rules.”
NSW recorded its first coronavirus death in more than a month.
An 83-year-old man died after being diagnosed with the virus and NSW Health said his source of infection was the Crossroads Hotel.
VICTORIA’S NEW COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
The state government has declared a “state of disaster”, effective from 6pm Sunday, allowing it to expand restrictions on people’s movements.
STAGE 4 RESTRICTIONS IMPACTING MELBOURNE INCLUDE:
- an 8pm-5am curfew for metropolitan Melbourne (unless you are going to or from work or to get or give care);
- a ban on travelling more than 5km from home for shopping or recreation;
- allowing only one person per household to shop once a day;
- limiting daily exercise to one hour, no more than 5km from home and in groups of no more than two;
- bans on weddings taking place from midnight on Wednesday.
BUSINESSES THAT CAN STILL OPERATE:
- Essential retail outlets, including food stores.
- Takeaway food providers.
STAGE 3 RESTRICTIONS IMPACTING REGIONAL VICTORIA:
- People will only be allowed outdoors to shop for food and essential items, provide care and caregiving, and for exercise, work and study.
- Restaurants, bars, cafes and gyms to shut from midnight on Wednesday.
- Restaurants and cafes can only offer delivery and takeaway.
- Beauty shops and those offering personal services, as well as entertainment and cultural venues will need to close.
- Community sport will stop.
RESTRICTIONS ON SCHOOLS:
- From Wednesday, all school students across the state will learn from home with the exception of some “special schools” or due to parental work commitments.
- Study at TAFE and university will also have to done remotely.
- The same rules will apply to Melbourne’s kinder and early childhood education services from Thursday.
- Breaches of the regulations can lead to a $1652 fine.
- The changes remain in place until September 13.
- More restrictions relating to employment and workplaces are due to be announced on Monday.