Covid 19 coronavirus: Victoria records 24 cases, Melbourne curfew begins

Victoria has recorded 24 local cases of Covid-19 overnight.

Of the new cases, 21 are linked to known outbreaks but only 14 were in isolation throughout their infectious period.

After the Melbourne outbreak grew by 22 cases yesterday, the Victorian government imposed tight new restrictions that took effect from midnight and will last until 11.59pm on September 2.

A night curfew, taped-off playgrounds and worker permits have been implemented across Melbourne after health officials warned Victoria was in danger of following NSW’s disastrous path.

Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton said yesterday the state was “right on the cliff edge” of an explosion of coronavirus cases after a number of lockdown breaches, including an engagement party attended by 69 guests.

“We are at the brink and we need to step back from the brink,” he said.

The curfew is in effect from 9pm to 5am. People in Melbourne are not permitted to leave their home except for limited reasons.

Sutton said the curfew was a difficult but necessary measure to prevent the outbreak from worsening and prolonging the lockdown.

“The evidence around curfews is not dissimilar to evidence around a whole bunch of other interventions,” he said.

“It is one of a suite of interventions that was very successful last year in Victoria.”

Epidemiologist Mike Toole told The Age the effect of Melbourne’s stage-four restrictions last year had worked, though it was impossible to establish which particular measures had been the most effective.

He said the curfew would be a “game changer” for lockdown compliance.

“It brings us back to the full package of stage four last year,” Toole said. “And we know that it worked.”

Melbourne mayor Sally Capp wrote on social media last night that she hoped residents could find ways to “unwind safely” amid the tighter restrictions.

“We’ll get through it together. Stay strong Melbourne,” she wrote.

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