How ‘draconian’ are the Melbourne coronavirus lockdown measures?

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TORONTO – From stay-at-home orders to hefty fines, residents of the Australian city of Melbourne have lived under restrictive COVID-19 lockdown measures that have been described as among the most draconian in the world. With the entire state of Victoria under lockdown orders since early July, the state capital, Melbourne, has faced particularly harsh measures in response to several recent outbreaks.

As of the start of August, Melbourne has been in the fourth phase of foreclosure, meaning most businesses have been closed, residents are not allowed to leave their homes except for essential reasons and for an hour or so. ‘exercise and a nighttime curfew. has been in effect.

In early September, the state authorized the relaxation of some restrictions; However, the city is still in the fourth stage of its lockdown and the strict stay-at-home orders will be lifted on October 26 if there are fewer than five new cases per day.

Since the time the severe restrictions were announced, Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has come under fire for his detractors’ response to dubbing him “Dictator Dan” in the media while others blamed him for the deteriorating economy of the country. country.

However, Andrews’ tough stance has not been criticized by everyone. Many support state lockdowns and some even express their support on social media, using the hashtag #IStandWithAndrews.

In fact, a recent public opinion poll by market research firm Roy Morgan found that 70% of Victorians approved of Andrews’ way of handling the pandemic and 63% of those surveyed agreed that the nighttime curfew in Melbourne should not end immediately.

So how drastic is the pandemic lockdown in Melbourne? CTVNews.ca takes a closer look at current restrictions in Australia’s second largest city.

CAN RESIDENTS LEAVE THEIR HOME?

According to the Victorian government, residents of Melbourne must adhere to a nighttime curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. The curfew was pushed back by an hour – from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. – in early September.

During curfew hours, people are only allowed to leave their homes if they are working or going to and from work, or if they are receiving or caring for someone else.

Outside of curfew hours, residents may only leave their homes for work or study, to obtain essential supplies, such as groceries or prescriptions, for medical attention or care, or for two hours. daily exercise outdoors.

The outdoor exercise limit was increased by one hour in early September and can be split into two blocks each day.

How far can they travel?

Since the start of August, people living in Melbourne have had to stay within three miles of their homes to purchase necessary supplies and exercise. There are exceptions for people who live more than three miles from their nearest supermarket.

Only one person from each household is allowed to go out and shop each day.

Anyone in Melbourne who needs access to medical services can travel anywhere in Victoria to do so.

CAN THEY SOCIALIZE WITH OTHERS?

Under more relaxed restrictions introduced in early September, people living alone and single parents are now allowed to nominate someone to visit or visit them as part of their ‘one social bubble’.

If the designated person lives more than five kilometers from the single person, they are still allowed to visit them. However, the proposed person must still live in the city of Melbourne and cannot live in the Victoria area.

If the designated person lives with other people, those household members are not allowed to be at home while the single person is visiting.

People who have an intimate partner they do not live with are allowed to visit each other, even if they live more than three miles from each other. However, if they are at their partner’s house after 9 p.m., they should stay overnight and return home after 5 a.m.

Melbourne residents who are already living with other people are not permitted to receive visitors in their homes, unless the visitor is a caregiver or in an emergency.

Outside the home, two people or a household are allowed to meet outside – within three miles of their home – for a maximum of two hours for “social interactions, exercise or fun. Hobbies”.

WHAT IS OPEN AND CLOSED?

Supermarkets, grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, and local bakers and butchers remain open with certain capacity limits.

Restaurants and bars are closed with only take-out and delivery options available. Most retailers are also closed to foot traffic and are only allowed to provide contactless pickup or delivery.

Entertainment venues, such as concert halls, museums, indoor and outdoor cinemas, casinos and strip clubs, also remain closed. Gyms, sports centers, swimming pools, places of worship and libraries are also closed.

Most workplaces remain closed, and employees can only attend if they are on the list of permitted industries.

Schools and daycares are also still closed with distance learning in effect.

As part of the recent easing of restrictions, play areas have been allowed to reopen but physical distance must still be observed while children use the equipment.

DO THEY HAVE TO WEAR FACE COATINGS?

Melbourne residents are required to wear a face mask every time they leave their homes, unless they have a medical reason not to wear one or are under the age of 12.

Even people who meet inside their “one social bubble” have to wear a mask all the time, whether they are outside or inside.

WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR BREACH OF THE RULES?

People who do not wear a face mask while outside their home face a fine of AUD 200 (CAN $ 192).

As for other restrictions, Melbourne Police have been authorized to issue on-site fines of up to $ 1,652 for individuals and up to $ 9,913 for businesses violating home stay orders .

Those who violate isolation orders for a second or more time after testing positive for COVID-19 may be fined $ 4,957 on the spot and up to a maximum of $ 20,000 in court for repeat offenders .

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