Crowds flock to city streets ahead of six-restriction rule

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Victoria accounts for around 75% of Australia’s more than 26,600 cases and its capital, Melbourne, has been under strict closure for several weeks.The city will remain strictly blocked, but the time people can spend outdoors will double to two hours a day and the nighttime curfew will be shortened by one hour starting Monday.

“These are small steps, but it is what is certain, absolutely appropriate, with numbers which continue to fall, but (remaining) too high to be opened,” Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said during a televised briefing.

Businesses, primarily hospitality, retail and tourism businesses that have either been shut down completely or whose operations have been significantly reduced, will have access to grants and tax breaks through the larger support program state-owned enterprises to date, he announced.

In neighboring New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, where social distancing rules are looser and retailers and restaurants are allowed to open, officials have registered nine new Sunday case.



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