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Coronavirus: Victoria declares state of disaster after spike in cases

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Military staff are seen at Epping Gardens Aged Care Facility in Epping, outskirts of Melbourne, Australia

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Victoria reimposed lockdown measures in the state last month after a spike in coronavirus cases

The Australian state of Victoria has declared a state of disaster and imposed new lockdown measures after a surge in coronavirus infections.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the restrictions would come into effect on Sunday at 18:00 (09:00 BST).

Under the new rules, residents of the state capital Melbourne will be subject to a night-time curfew.

The city’s stay-at-home order will be enhanced, giving residents fewer exemptions for leaving home.

Residents will not be allowed to travel further than 5 km (3.1 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 virus, Australia has had fewer cases than many other countries, recording about 17,000 infections and 200 deaths.

But 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 Sunday, the state reported 671 new coronavirus cases and seven deaths. Those increases brought the totals to 11,557 infections and 123 deaths.

Mr Andrews said the lockdown measures introduced in the Victoria – Australia’s 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,” Mr Andrews said at a news conference.

More on Melbourne’s lockdown:

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Media caption‘Like being in prison’: The public housing tower residents confined under police lockdown



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