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Victoria Has Declared a State of Disaster and Stage Four Restrictions for Metro Melbourne

Metropolitan Melbourne will have strict new stay-at-home rules and a curfew from tonight — and regional Victoria will enter stage three restrictions from next week.
By Samantha Teague
August 02, 2020
By Samantha Teague
August 02, 2020

After introducing stage three stay-at-home restrictions for metro Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in early July and mandatory face masks for all of Victoria, the Victorian Government has today, Sunday, August 2, announced new restrictions for the entire state as the number of new COVID-19 continues to climb.

As of 6pm tonight, Sunday, August 2, a State of Disaster will be declared across Victoria — on top of the current State of Emergency — which will give police additional powers to ensure Victorians are complying with public health directions. A State of Disaster was introduced during this summer's devastating bushfires, too.

From 6pm tonight, metropolitan Melbourne will also move into stage four restrictions for six weeks, until at least Sunday, September 13. This will include an 8pm–5am curfew — from tonight — during which you can only leave home to get care, provide care and to go to and from work.

Under stage four restrictions, Melburnians will also not be allowed to venture more than five kilometres from their home for exercise or to shop for essentials. Only one person per household will be allowed to go shopping for those essentials once a day. Daily exercise must be limited to one hour and groups must be no bigger than two, regardless of whether they're members of your household.

Regional Victoria will move into stage three restrictions — what metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are currently under — from 11.59pm on Wednesday, August 5. This means you'll only be able to leave home for one of the four reasons (shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise, and work and study – if you can't do it from home), restaurants and cafes will be takeaway-only, beauty parlours and entertainment venues must close and community sport will need to stop.

The announcement comes as the state records 671 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, with 73 from known clusters and 598 under investigation. Premier Daniel Andrews says there are currently 760 'mystery cases' across the state and that is Victoria's "biggest challenge".

"Those mysteries, that community transmission is in many respects our biggest challenge and the reason why we need to move to a different set of rules," the Premier said. "We must do more. We must go harder. It's the only way we'll get to the other side of this."

The new rules won't stop here, either. The Premier says that more announcements will be made about businesses and working tomorrow, Monday, August 3.

"Tomorrow, I will have more to say about different industries and there will be three categories," the Premier said. "Those that are business as usual. I want to ensure all Victorians supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there. In terms of a number of other issues, they'll be reducing their total output. That will mean there are less people working less shifts... There will be a third category of business and they'll close and move exclusively to a work from home and if they can't work from home the work simply won't be done."

Victoria's State of Disaster will begin at 6pm tonight, Sunday, August 2, as will metropolitan Melbourne stage four restrictions. Metro Melbourne's curfew will also begin from 8pm tonight. Regional Victoria will move into stage three restrictions from 11.59pm on Wednesday, August 5.

For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Victoria, head to the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Published on August 02, 2020 by Samantha Teague
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