More than 300,000 people in Australia are going into lockdown for a month – with a neighbouring state threatening to fine or jail anyone who travels from coronavirus hotspots.
More than 30 suburbs in Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, are going to face tightened restrictions for four weeks – prohibiting them from leaving home unless they are buying food, exercising, or have a health appointment.
New South Wales (NSW), a nearby state that includes the cities of Canberra and Sydney, have now imposed measures designed to deter visitors from Victoria.
Fourteen new coronavirus cases were confirmed in NSW on Wednesday, and each patient had travelled from Victoria.
Image: New South Wales health minister Brad Hazzard has imposed entry restrictions on people from neighbouring regions
Mr Hazzard said: “The Victorian situation should be taken very, very seriously. Don’t get cocky, don’t get complacent, it could happen anywhere.
“As soon as you set foot in NSW you’ll be exposed to the possibility of six months jail or an $11,000 (£6,100) fine.”
Those who travel from New South Wales to Victoria could also face punishment.
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Victoria reinstated some of its lockdown measures earlier in June in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19, and testing is set to increase in areas where cases have spiked.
According to Johns Hopkins University, Australia has only recorded 7,920 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began, and registered 104 coronavirus-related deaths.
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As a result of keeping the outbreak largely under control, many places have been able to significantly ease lockdown restrictions by allowing people in bars and restaurants, gyms and cinemas.
There had been worries early on in the outbreak in Australia after a cruise ship with more than 600 cases of COVID-19 and 15 virus-related deaths onboard docked in Sydney – triggering a criminal investigation.
Source : Sky News