More than 300,000 Melbourne residents will be thrust back into strict lockdown at midnight after Premier Daniel Andrews was forced to take extreme measures to curb the surge in coronavirus cases.
Under the rules, no one will be allowed to leave their home unless it’s for an essential purpose and everyone outside the 10 declared hotspots will not be allowed to enter.
Premier Andrews said the outbreaks were partly the result of breaches in the state’s hotel quarantine system after at least 50 cases could be traced back to security breaches.
Meanwhile, the Queensland border battle is finally over after the Palaszczuk Government announced all states, bar Victoria, could visit the sunshine state from Friday week.
Following her announcement, the Premier hit out at her critics including the Prime Minister.
“These border wars have got to stop and I think a national leader should have been able to bring all of the states and territories together and frankly I’m a bit sick that Queensland has been singled out,” she said.
Meanwhile in NSW, people are waking to relaxed restrictions today, including the scrapping of a 50 person maximum at indoor venues.
NSW will not be accepting international flights diverted from Melbourne.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews appealed to have inbound flights to Melbourne diverted for two weeks as authorities worked to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The NSW Premier’s office said the state was already pulling its weight through the crisis as more than 30,000 returned travellers were processed through hotel quarantine over three months.
The state will dramatically ease lockdown restrictions from today, with the 50-cap limit on indoor venues and function centres lifted as long as patrons are seated and the four-square metre rule is in place.
Community sport is also set to resume, with stadiums allowed to hold 25 per cent capacity.
Authorities said while music festivals and night clubs would not return in July, it could be possible in August if community transmission rates remained low.