Australian city shuts down retail shops, pubs amid Covid-19 case spike

In the wake of rising Coronavirus cases in Melbourne, Australia, the government has imposed strict lockdown restrictions on the state.

The measures announced on Monday shuts down retail businesses, shops, pubs, hotels and other non essential services.

“All Victorians are required to work from home, except where this is not practicable,” state Premier Daniel Andrews said yesterday.

All retail business, pubs and hotels, as well as manufacturing, will stop operations from 11:59 pm (1359 GMT) on Wednesday for six weeks to curb the recent spike in COVID-19 community transmission, Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

Only essential shops, like supermarkets, groceries, fuel suppliers, pharmacies and post offices, are to remain open. Some of the shops will be able to offer “click and collect” services or delivery.

Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, is Australia’s second-most populous city.

It has been hit by a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic since June.

Thirteen people died from coronavirus overnight, driving the state toll to 136 and the national toll to 221, Andrews announced, with 429 new cases of the disease, with a vast majority of them being in Melbourne.

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