Melbourne is going back under lockdown as coronavirus cases surge

Workers in personal protective equipment are seen, along side police patrols, on July 7, in Melbourne, Australia. Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

The Australian city of Melbourne is going back into Stage 3 lockdown for six weeks as it struggles with a spike in coronavirus cases, announced Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews today.

The lockdown will start at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday local time.

People will be only allowed to leave their homes to buy food, go to work, receive or give care, and do exercise, Andrews said.

Elsewhere in Victoria state, the region of Mitchell Shire will also be locked down for six weeks.

Businesses such as restaurants that had reopened will now be forced to close again, the premier said.

“We know we’re on the cusp of something very very bad if we don’t get on top of this,” said Andrews. “The alternative though is to pretend that its over, just as I think some Victorians have been doing.”

The housing towers: Since Saturday, 3,000 residents in nine public housing towers in Melbourne have been under “hard lockdown,” meaning they cannot leave at all. All residents are now being tested, with meals and other necessities provided by the government.

With Melbourne going under Stage 3 lockdown — softer restrictions than a “hard lockdown” — the residents in the towers will be allowed to go outside again for essential activities.

Earlier today, the Victoria health department announced that it recorded 191 new cases on Monday — the highest daily jump so far.

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