By Victor Maumo
Victoria has declared a state of disaster and stage four restrictions are now in place, including a police-enforced curfew in metro Melbourne.This will be enforced from tonight
This is after Victoria recorded 687 coronavirus cases overnight– the state’s second worst day on record with seven more deaths.Stay at home restrictions for metro Melbourne have been enhanced and there are now four reasons why residents will be allowed to leave.
“Only one person will be able to go shopping once per day and they will need to secure the goods and services that are what you need within a 5km radius,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
“In terms of exercise, recreation is now no longer allowed. You will be able to have one hour of exercise, no further than 5km from your home. That means it’s fresh air. It’s a jog. It’s a walk. It’s in your local neighbourhood.”
On the curfew, Mr Andrews added: “Police will be out in force and you will be stopped and you will be asked and need to demonstrate that you are lawfully out and you are not breaching that curfew.
“Going to a mate’s place, visiting friends, being out and about for no good reason, all that will do is spread this virus.”
Mr Andrews said he would elaborate on punishments for breaking curfew at tomorrow’s briefing, but a $10,000 fine is possible.
The ramping up of measures was driven by 700 mystery cases, with authorities unable to track and trace the source of those infections, and a complacency from some Victorians.
From Wednesday, all students in metro Melbourne, including Year 11 and 12, will return to remote learning.
Also confirming childcare centres in Melbourne would close, Victorian Education Minister James Merlino acknowledged the impact stage 4 would have on students and families.
He said the Year 12 General Achievement Test will move from the end of Term Three to the start of Term Four. There was no change to any VCE exams and ATARs would be delivered by the end of the year, he said.
From midnight next Wednesday, regional Victoria will move to stage three restrictions. Mitchell Shire will stay at stage three.
“That’s stay at home, except for the four reasons to leaving,” Mr Andrews said.
“That will mean restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, a whole range of other settings will need to close from midnight next Wednesday.
Changes to force the temporary closure of many business and industries in stage-four zones of Victoria will be expanded upon tomorrow.
“I want to ensure all Victorians supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there.”
“There will be some industries, some settings that can continue and it is business as usual.
“Others will have to modify the way they operate and perhaps do less. Others will have to close.”
The seven new deaths takes Australia’s death toll to 209.
The fatalities included three women in their 70s, two women in their 80s, one man in his 90s and one woman in her 90s.