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Australia Media Say COVID-19 Restrictions to Be Tightened

Αssociated Press

People line up to enter a supermarket hours before a citywide curfew is introduced in Melbourne, Sunday, Aug 2, 2020. (Erik Anderson/AAP Image via AP)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Australian media are reporting that coronavirus-forced restrictions in Melbourne could be tightened from next week as authorities try to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The Sunday Age reported the city may be placed under a six-week period of more stringent constraints, including the almost complete shutdown of Melbourne’s public transport network, starting from Wednesday.

The Sunday Herald Sun reports Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews will announce the new measures over the next two days. They also include limiting the distance residents could travel from their homes and the closure of more businesses selling non-essential goods.

It comes as Australia’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 201, with Victoria state leaders considering New Zealand-style lockdowns to get community transmission under control. Victoria on Saturday reported the deaths of a man and two women aged in their 80s and 90s, and 397 new cases.

The state’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, said stricter lockdowns like those enforced in New Zealand were being considered. Under the New Zealand model, all businesses would shut down except for essential services.

On Sunday, New South Wales confirmed its first coronavirus-related death in more than a month as authorities sought to suppress a number of growing clusters at a hotel and several restaurants in Sydney.