Victoria‘s opposition leader Michael O’Brien has lashed the state’s new restrictions, declaring “Victorians don’t deserve this”.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews announced stage four restrictions for Melbourne on Sunday afternoon, including a curfew from 8pm to 5am for anyone living in the metropolitan area.
“In declaring a State of Disaster, Premier Daniel Andrews has conceded that his government has lost control of COVID-19 in this state,” Mr O‘Brien said in a statement.
“The failings of the Labor Government in hotel quarantine, in testing and in contact tracing have led to millions of Victorians being subjected to the harshest restrictions in our history.
“Curfews. Businesses that will be closed. Limits on daily exercise. Limits on shopping. Limits on moving 5 kilometres from your home. Unprecedented in their nature and their intrusion into the lives of Victorians.”
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RELATED: Full details of Melbourne’s lockdown
Mr Andrews declared a ‘state of disaster’, giving authorities sweeping powers, that includes a nightly curfew for Greater Melbourne from 8pm to 5am, effective Sunday.
Regional Victoria will enter stage 3 restrictions on Wednesday at midnight, providing just four reasons to leave one’s home – seeking medical care, providing care, buying groceries, and working or learning if it can’t be done remotely.
Mr O‘Brien said he could “understand why (Victorians) are angry” after ”being asked to make sacrifices like never before”.
“But losing this battle against COVID-19 is not something that we can contemplate,” he said.
“We simply must prevail and get this virus back under control, despite how bitter the medicine is.
“I and my Liberal Nationals team will work to support Victorians through these next six weeks and the months and years that lay beyond.
“No Victorian should be left behind and we will speak up for those who are doing it tough.
“Victorians will get through this together. Then we will begin our task of rebuilding this state that we love.”
The opposition leader wasn’t the only Victorian to hit out at the state’s unprecedented lockdown on Sunday night.
The Project host Steve Price also weighed in, labelling the necessary lockdown a “disgraceful failure”.
Economics editor at The Australian Adam Creighton brought up the lack of lockdown in Sweden when lashing Victoria’s new restrictions despite the European nation losing more than 5700 people to coronavirus with a population of 10.3 million.
Melbourne’s lockdown came into effect at 6pm on Sunday with the State of Disaster declaration.
Under stage four restrictions, Metropolitan Melbourne’s more than five million residents need to abide by the following rules:
- A curfew – from 8pm to 5am – starting tonight. The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving.
- The Night Network will be suspended, and public transport services will be reduced during curfew hours.
- Exercise will be limited to a maximum of one hour per day and no more than five kilometres from your home. Group size will be limited to a maximum of two – you and one other person – whether you live with them or not.
- Shopping will be limited to one person per household per day. Again, the five-kilometre rule will apply.
- Study at TAFE and uni must be done remotely.
- Weddings will be banned – unless on compassionate reasons.
- Face coverings will continue to be compulsory.
- All Victorian students across all year levels will return to at-home learning.
- Non-essential businesses will be forced to close.
There will be some common-sense exceptions. For example if you live more than five kilometres from your closest supermarket or if you have children that can‘t be left at home.
Regional Victoria will move to stage three restrictions meaning you must stay at home unless leaving your house for one of four reasons – shopping for food and supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and study and work, if you can’t do it from home.
All restrictions for Victoria will remain in place until at least September 13.