Victoria records 471 new cases and eight deaths, business and industry stage 4 restrictions commence

FILE PHOTO: Bourke Street mall, a normally busy shopping hub in Melbourne, is seen devoid of people after the city re-entered Stage 3 restrictions as part of efforts to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders/File Photo

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced 471 new cases of Covid-19 and eight deaths over a 24 hour period on Thursday, as stage 4 restrictions commenced in the state.

Melbourne began the first day of a six-week total lockdown on Thursday with the closure of most shops and businesses raising new fears of food shortages, as authorities battle a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Australia has now recorded about 20,000 COVID-19 cases and 255 fatalities, still far fewer than many other developed nations.

But the Victorian outbreak threatens to ruin that record and spill into other states such as Queensland where the virus has been all but eliminated.

“We’ve flatted that curve once, we’ll flatten that curve again,” Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews urged Melbourne residents, who have already endured weeks of less severe lockdown, to stay calm and abstain from panic buying amid a surge in demand at supermarkets.

Business and industry stage 4 restrictions:

Meanwhile business and industry stage 4 restrictions have been imposed in metropolitan Melbourne from Thursday onward.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced 3 lists that will apply during Stage 4 restrictions. These changes, in addition to the previous restrictions, will mean around 1 million Victorians are no longer moving around the state for work.

Detailed information on the restrictions are available at: