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.
- Why did the virus re-emerge in Melbourne?
- Melbourne returns to full lockdown
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:
- The 3,000 Australians who were under police guard at home
- The border town divided by lockdown