Melbourne declared ‘state of disaster’ after virus spike 'caused by infected Brits sleeping with quarantine guards'

AUSTRALIA’s worst coronavirus-hit region has declared a state of disaster, with cops and soldiers enforcing a curfew in the country’s second biggest city.

The state of Victoria has been rocked by a wave of infections in recent weeks, blamed by some on Brits and other travellers romping with quarantine gaurds.

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Sweeping new restrictions were yesterday announced in a desperate bid to stem the tide.

The measures, revealed by state premier Daniel Andrews, give cops more powers and include a night-time curfew across Melbourne from 8pm to 5am.

The streets of the state capital were eerily silent last night as the normally bustling city turned into a ghost town.

The curfew will be in place for six weeks, barring the city's nearly five million people from leaving their houses except for work or to receive or give care.

Locals will only be allowed to shop and exercise within three miles of their homes, with exercise limited to a single hour.


All students across the state will return to home-based learning and child care centres will be closed.

Supermarkets will remain open, and restaurants, already closed for dining in, will be able to continue with their takeaway and delivery services.

But some businesses that previously had not been forced to close will be asked to shut down.

More details are expected to be revealed today.

Announcing the measures yesterday, Andrews said: “If we don’t make these changes, we're not going to get through this.

“We need to do more. That is what these decisions are about.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Nine News: “This is devastating… nobody wanted it to get to this.

“There is only one way out and that is to stem the tide of new cases.

“This is a big kick in the guts to thousands of small businesses right across the state.”


Victoria makes up about a quarter of the national economy.

The state reported 671 infections on Sunday, one of its highest levels, and seven Covid-19 deaths.

The spike has been blamed by some on security guards allegedly romping with Brits and other travellers who they were supposed to be making sure were quarantining in hotels.

Members of the private security guard team, tasked with ensuring that arriving international travellers stayed in their rooms, allegedly slept with some of the guests.

The guards who then caught coronavirus unknowingly returned to Melbourne's suburbs – triggering a second wave in the country that had almost crushed the virus, it’s been claimed.

Donald Trump reacted to the news of Melbourne’s plight on Twitter yesterday.

Retweeting a story about Victoria declaring a state of disaster, he wrote: “Big China Virus breakouts all over the world, including nations which were thought to have done a great job.

“The Fake News doesn't report this. USA will be stronger than ever before, and soon!”

Victoria’s neighbouring state of New South Wales yesterday confirmed its first coronavirus death in more than a month amid fears over a number of growing clusters at a hotel and several restaurants in Sydney.

While Australia has fared far better than many other countries in keeping the coronavirus from spreading, high numbers of community transmissions and cases of unknown origins have forced the new restrictions.


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