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Australia’s Victoria state imposes new lockdown measures

MELBOURNE, Aug 3 – Australia’s second-most populous state Victoria entered its first full day under stricter lockdown measures on Monday, after declaring a state of disaster and imposing a nightly curfew in the state capital Melbourne, to fight a resurgent COVID-19.

Below are some facts around the restrictions, the harhest in Australia, which has fared better than many countries, with 18,361 coronavirus cases and 221 deaths, but now risks losing control of the virus in Victoria.

* For the next six weeks, a daily curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. bars nearly five million Melbourne residents from leaving their houses except for work or to receive or give care.

* Melbourne residents are not allowed to move any further than 5 kms (3 miles) away from their homes with limited exceptions.

* Only one person per household can spend up to one hour away from home to shop within the 5 kms radius.

* Recreational activities and most home visits are no longer allowed and residents may only spend one hour exercising outdoors in groups not exceeding two.

* All schools will move to remote learning from Wednesday.

* Weddings in Melbourne are banned, except in compassionate circumstances, while funerals will continue to be restricted to up to 10 people.

* Supermarkets, bottle shops, pharmacies, banks, post offices and newsagents will remain open, but restaurants will be able to operate takeaway and delivery services only.

* Most retail businesses, including hardware stores, and manufacturers will have to close their doors from 11:59pm Wednesday, but customers will be allowed to collect goods purchased online.

* An estimated 250,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the shut downs, on top of 250,000 jobs already lost.

* Meat processing facilities will have to reduce production by one-third and workers would have to wear protection masks, shields, gowns and gloves.

* Large-scale commercial building projects above three stories can only have 25% of their staff working.

* Small-scale and home construction projects can continue with up to 5 people on site.

* Police have been given more powers to enforce the new restrictions.

(Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Michael Perry)

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