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Melbourne suburbs locked down

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More than 300,000 Victorians have entered lockdown for a second time, as part of efforts to contain a second wave of coronavirus in the state.

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Stay-at-home orders will be in place for 10 postcodes in Melbourne’s inner north and west from Thursday until at least July 29, after a 15th consecutive day of double-digit case growth in the state.

Those postcodes are: 3038, 3064, 3047, 3060, 3012, 3032, 3055, 3042, 3021 and 3046.

Much like earlier stage three restrictions, residents of the postcodes will only be able to leave their homes to shop for food and supplies, to receive or provide care, to exercise, and to study or work if they can’t do so from home.

“Victorians in these locked down suburbs are being urged to do their bit in the fight against coronavirus – stick to the rules and get to a testing station,” Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.

“More than 300,000 people live across these suburbs. We need everyone to do their part and ensure it is stopped in its tracks.”

The government has increased testing sites across the postcodes to make it easier for residents both with or without symptoms to get tested.

It comes after Victoria recorded 73 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 2231. More than 350 cases remain active.

Of the new cases, three are returned travellers from hotel quarantine, nine are associated with known and contained outbreaks, 19 were found through routine testing and 42 that remain under investigation.

Flights have been diverted away from Melbourne and an inquiry will be held into hotel quarantine, led by former judge Jennifer Coate.

Melbourne residents of COVID-19 outbreak areas who seek to enter NSW could from Thursday face six months’ imprisonment or a fine of $11,000.

NSW residents who return from Melbourne hot spot areas, meanwhile, will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

“This virus is quite capable of circulating, particularly in younger people,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Wednesday.

“Normally we love having Victorians and Queenslanders and everybody else coming to visit us but Victorians right now, from those hot spots, are not welcome in NSW. We’re sorry.

“It’s not something we want to do but we must do for our own safety.”

People trying to enter NSW stadiums from Wednesday may be required to show their driver’s licence to prove they’re not from Victoria.

-with AAP

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