Australia

Melbourne wakes to tougher coronavirus lockdown rules as night curfew returns

Melburnians are wakening under stricter lockdown measures including a reimposed curfew and the closure of playgrounds, as health authorities fight to control the city’s worsening coronavirus outbreak.

People living in Melbourne are required to stay at home between 9pm and 5am after Premier Daniel Andrews announced a night curfew which came into effect at 11.59pm on Monday.

The city’s lockdown has been extended for another two weeks until 2 September, with playgrounds and skate parks closed, exercise limited to two people and authorised workers required to carry permits.

Additionally, large-scale construction will be restricted to 25 per cent of staff and people will not be allowed to remove their masks to drink alcohol in public.

Mr Andrews said there was “no choice” but to toughen restrictions given increasing mystery infections, the number of children infected and several illegal gatherings at the weekend.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said “we are right on the cliff edge here” as he warned a “grumbling” number of daily cases could end up being 100 in a fortnight, or thousands in a month.

Meanwhile, Victorian Parliament’s lower house has deferred sitting until next week after advice from the Chief Health Officer, however the upper house will sit on Tuesday.

Of Monday’s 22 new cases, 19 were linked to known outbreaks and 14 were in quarantine while infectious.

There are currently more than 14,200 close contacts across Victoria and more than 520 exposure sites.

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