From midnight, more than 30 suburbs in Australia’s second-biggest city will return to stage three restrictions, the third-strictest level in curbs to control the pandemic. That means residents will be confined to home except for grocery shopping, health appointments, work or care-giving, and exercise.
Australia locks down 300,000 for one month to contain outbreak
Authorities will lock down about 300,000 people in suburbs north of Melbourne for a month to contain the risk of infection after two weeks of double-digit rises in new coronavirus cases in Australia’s second most populous state.
Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with about 7,830 cases and 104 deaths, but the recent surge has stoked fears of a second wave of Covid-19.
The restrictions will be accompanied by a testing blitz that authorities hope will extend to half the population of the area affected, and for which borders will be patrolled.
The measures come as curbs ease across the rest of the state of Victoria, with restaurants, gyms and cinemas reopening in recent weeks.
Victoria recorded 73 fresh cases on Tuesday from 20,682 tests, following an increase of 75 cases on Monday. State premier Daniel Andrews warned that the return of broader restrictions across city remained a possibility.