Victoria reported 191 new COVID-19 cases overnight – the biggest rise since the epidemic began. The state reported its previous high of 127 new cases on Monday. Victoria also reported two deaths, the first nationally in more than two weeks, increasing the death toll throughout the country to 106. The restrictions will become effective on Wednesday night and be in place for six weeks.
The decision to enforce this lockdown marks the first time the border between Victoria and New South Wales has been shut in 100 years.
Movement between the two states was last blocked in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic.
Premier Daniel Andrews said in a media briefing in the city: “These are unsustainably high numbers of new cases.
“It is the smart call, the right call at this time, given the significant challenges we face in containing this virus.”
Melbourne has been placed into lockdown after a spike in coronavirus cases
The massive spike coronavirus cases in Melbourne over recent days has forced authorities to enforce strict social distancing orders in 30 suburbs.
They have also put nine public housing towers into complete lockdown.
New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian has not put a time frame on when the border might reopen.
This will be patrolled by the military to prevent illegal crossings from 11.59pm local time on Tuesday.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller confirmed the military will be providing 24-hour aerial and other surveillance to manage the closure of the border. .
Victoria’s only other internal border, with South Australia state, has been shut since for more than three months since March 22 as a result of early coronavirus lockdown measures that were enforced.
The state line has 55 roads, wilderness parks and rivers.
Some businesses stretch across both sides, with several workers and school children commuting on a daily basis.
Premier Berejiklian said people will be able to apply for daily permits to cross the border.
But she warned there would be delays of around three days in issuing these passes.
This is a breaking story. More to follow…