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Coronavirus: Victoria, state of disaster

Following a wave of coronavirus infections, the Australian state of Victoria has declared a state of catastrophe and imposed new restrictions.

According to the new rules, which came into force at 18.00 (08.00 GMT), a night-time curfew applies to residents of the state capital Melbourne.

There will be further restrictions on the ability of residents to leave their homes.

Australia has been more successful than many other countries in tackling the Covid 19 problem, but in Victoria cases are increasing.

The state – Australia’s second most populous state – is now responsible for many of the new infections in recent weeks, leading to a return of curfew measures in early July.

But on Sunday, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said the measures were working, but too slowly. “We have to be tougher. This is the only way we can get to the other side of the coin,” he told reporters.

The new rules will remain in force at least until 13 September, Mr Andrews added.
On Sunday, Victoria reported 671 new coronavirus cases and seven deaths. These increases brought the total to 11,557 infections and 123 deaths.

What are the new restrictions?
A night curfew will be introduced throughout Melbourne from 8pm to 5am.

The only valid reasons for leaving home during these hours are work, medical care or nursing.

Residents of Melbourne will only be allowed to shop and exercise within 5km (three miles) of their homes. Sport outside the home will only be allowed for one hour at a time.

Only one person per household will be allowed to shop for the essentials.

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