New lockdown measures have been imposed in the Australian state of Victoria after a surge in coronavirus infections.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the restrictions would come into effect on August 2 at 18:00.
Under the new rules, residents of the state capital Melbourne will be subject to a night-time curfew.
Melbourne’s stay-at-home order will be enhanced, giving residents fewer exemptions for leaving home.
Residents will not be allowed to travel further than 3 miles from their home, exercise will be restricted to once a day, and one person will be able to go shopping for essentials at a time.
After early success in suppressing the new coronavirus, Australia has had fewer cases than many other countries, recording about 17,000 infections and 200 deaths.
However, cases are rising rapidly in Victoria, accounting for many of Australia’s new infections in recent weeks, promoting the return of lockdown restrictions in early July.
On August 2, Victoria reported 671 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths. Those increases brought the totals to 11,557 infections and 123 deaths.
PM Andrews said the lockdown measures introduced in Victoria – Australia’s second most populous state – were working but too slowly.
“We must do more. We must go harder. It’s the only way we’ll get to the other side of this,” he said at a news conference.
He said the changes to lockdown rules announced on August 2 will remain in place until at least September 13.
PM Andrews said Melbourne will move into stage-four restrictions on August 2, placing further limits on the movement of people.
That will include a night-time curfew, which will be implemented across Melbourne from 20:00 to 05:00 from August 2.
The only reasons for leaving home during these hours will be work, medical care or care-giving.
Melbourne residents will only be allowed to shop and exercise within 3 miles of their home. Exercise outside of the home will only be allowed for one hour at a time.