Melbourne declares disaster, enforces curfew as coronavirus cases spike – National

Victoria state, Australia‘s coronavirus hot spot, announced on Monday that businesses will be closed and scaled down in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said nonessential businesses will close starting late Wednesday in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city.

READ MORE: Masks made mandatory in Australia’s coronavirus hot spot state Victoria

The new restrictions followed Andrews on Sunday declaring a disaster in Melbourne and introducing an evening curfew for six weeks.

Andrews predicted the latest restrictions would cost 250,000 jobs.

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Victoria announced on Monday 429 new infections and 13 more deaths overnight.

Australia’s second-largest city goes back into lockdown

Australia’s second-largest city goes back into lockdown

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the infection rate would continue at 400 or 500 new COVID-19 cases a day without the new restrictions.

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READ MORE: Australia to close border between 2 largest states as coronavirus cases spike

Industries that will have to close on-site operations for six weeks include most retail and manufacturing.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday that workers in Victoria state will be entitled to a 1,500 Australian dollar ($1,060) payment if they are required to self-isolate for 14 days and they don’t have paid sick leave.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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