Victoria’s coronavirus infections increased from 136 to 821 in two days, with four deaths.
Victoria’s Premier Dan Andrews expressed his gratitude that most Victorians are taking precautions, however he said that there are still instances of people gathering in significant numbers.
“That’s why we are also restricting gatherings to no more than two people except for members of your immediate household for work and education,” he said, while sending the message that there are only four reasons for people to leave their homes: food and supplies, medical care, exercise, and work or education.
Household family dinners will not be broken up, however “BBQs with the neighbours cannot happen anymore”.
In alignment with the announcement made by Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday, Mr Andrews said that “playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms will also close”.
The Stage 3 restrictions will come into effect from 11.59pm and will be reviewed after four weeks.
People who breach the directions will face on-the-spot fines of $1652 for individuals and $9,913 for businesses, however larger fines can also be issued through the courts.
People will be fined on the spot:
- If they fail to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving at an airport in Victoria from a flight originating overseas;
- If they organise or attend a mass gathering prohibited by the Prohibited Gatherings Direction;
- If they organise or attend a wedding that has present more than two persons being married, a celebrant and two witnesses, or a funeral that has more than 10 persons present;
- If they organise an auction for the sale of property, as prohibited by the Non-Essential Activity Direction.
Premier Andrews also addressed the economic crisis with many businesses losing their customers and Victorians losing their jobs. He said that the National Cabinet has agreed to a moratorium on evictions for the next six months for residential and commercial tenants experiencing financial distress due to the impact of coronavirus bearing in mind that paying rent is becoming impossible for some people.
“To flatten the curve, we are all going to have to sacrifice a lot,” he said. “But it may be the most important thing we ever do. So please: Stay home. Protect our health system. Save lives.”