Australia's government to back Victoria's strict coronavirus lockdown By Reuters

Elias Hubbard
August 2, 2020

Another 397 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Victoria on Saturday, and while it's a significant drop from Thursday's peak of 723, the state has now had 116 deaths.

The state's government also expressed frustration on Saturday with the "appalling behaviour" of some people who had been fined by police for breaching the present restrictions, with one man telling officers he had driven from Melbourne to the town of Wodonga - 300 kilometres away - to buy a hamburger.

The rest of the state would be placed under the "stage three" lockdown that has been in force in the metro area for the past four weeks. "And the children, the students of parents who are working, they'll be able to go to school and be supervised - but it will really only be those that are absolutely necessary to do so".

"This will be in addition to the state of emergency that's operated throughout", Andrews said. "That is in some respect our biggest challenge", Mr Andrews said.

"We will continue to offer as much support as we can", Tehan told Sky's Kieran Gilbert, adding it was in the "national interest" to gain control of the outbreak.

Among those to breach coronavirus restrictions were a group of five people found attending a birthday celebration at a licensed venue in Melbourne's CBD. "We've got to get on top of it".

"If you take further steps you've got to make sure you've put it through properly, that the rules can function and that any changes to the rules will actually deliver the desired outcome". That is what these decisions are about'.

Most notably, the state will introduce a curfew from 8pm Sunday night, prohibiting movement between 8pm and 5am daily.

Regional Victoria will enter Stage Three restrictions, with the Premier saying the order is to stay home "except for the four reasons for leaving".

The premier flagged further announcements would be made about workplaces on Monday, including the closure of certain industries.

'I want to ensure all Victorians supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there, ' he said.

Thirty-seven of the new cases are linked to known outbreaks while 360 remain under investigation.

The premier said the situation in aged care was very serious with 1008 cases and 1075 health workers affected.

Mr Andrews said he didn't want to give airtime to people trying to make political points about something they read on an obscure website.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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