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Melbourne curfew imposed
Due to another sharp rise in coronavirus infections, the second largest state, Victoria, imposed a curfew on Melbourne on Tuesday. The measure will come into effect at midnight and apply for at least six weeks, said Victoria State Prime Minister Daniel Andrews on Tuesday. "We cannot pretend that the coronavirus crisis is over." 191 new cases have been registered in the past 24 hours. The virus cannot be traced given that number, Andrews said.
The measure for Melbourne is similar to that from Europe at the peak of the first wave in April. For school children in the metropolis, for example, it means a return to learning from home. Restaurants and cafes are only allowed to sell take-away food. Shops also have to close again. For parts of Melbourne, there was a curfew until the end of July due to new sources of infection in several high-rise buildings.
State of Victoria foreclosed
Even if the curfew affects the Melbourne metropolitan area, practically the entire Australian state of Victoria is now sealed off from the rest of the country, as the state's borders are also closed at midnight. The Australian government announced this on Monday. How long the measure should last was initially not announced.
The government reacted to the increasing number of new infections. 127 new coronavirus cases were reported in Victoria on Sunday. That is the highest number since the pandemic began. Before that, the state, with a population of around 7.5 million, had recorded double-digit numbers of new infections for almost three weeks. There had been only a few known cases recently in the rest of the country.
No more traffic between metropolises
The rising number is a challenge, said Andrews. He agreed with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Prime Minister of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian that it was best to close the border between the two most populous states. There had already been closings between other states and regions.
There should be special permits for people who have urgent reasons to travel. With the closure, traffic between Australia's two largest cities, Sydney (New South Wales) and Melbourne (Victoria) will also come to a standstill. The flight route between the two cities is actually one of the busiest in the world.
Almost 9,000 coronavirus cases and 106 fatalities have so far been recorded in Australia (about 25 million inhabitants). In most other regions of the country, the coronavirus rules have now been relaxed again.
New Zealand's quarantine centers at the limit
To ensure that the country's quarantine and isolation centers do not reach their capacity limits during the coronavirus pandemic, the New Zealand government has temporarily restricted the booking of international flights. The national airline Air New Zealand has agreed to a short-term booking stop, said Housing Minister Megan Woods on Tuesday. The measure is intended to ensure that there are enough places available for all returnees for an orderly quarantine, she said as a justification.
New Zealand has closed its borders since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Only citizens of the country are still allowed to enter. With the spread of the corona virus worldwide, the number of returnees has recently risen rapidly, Woods said. “Our first priority is to stop the virus at the border. That's why everyone has to undergo quarantine or guided isolation, ”says Woods. Sufficient space must be available for this.
According to official figures, there are currently almost 6,000 people in 28 isolation centers in New Zealand. Since March 26, more than 26,400 people have gone through isolation or quarantine. New Zealand declared the first wave of coronavirus to be over on June 8th. So far, there have been around 1,530 confirmed and possible cases of infection on the two islands. 22 people died in connection with Covid-19.
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