Lockdown in Melbourne Photograph:( AFP )
The restrictions will see residents confined indoors from 9 pm to 5 am. Victoria State premier Dan Andrews said that restrictions are to be extended to September 2
Coronavirus curfew was announced on Monday in Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city. Residents would now confined to their homes overnight. The measure was taken as a part of authorities' efforts to stamp out Delta variant ourbreak.
On Monday evening, more than five million residents would not be able to leave their homes between 9 pm and 5 am. Essential workers would be required to get special permits to be on the streets.
Victoria state premier Dan Andrews said the decision came after a series of street parties, pub crawls and home gatherings over the weekend, as Melbourne reached a "tipping point" in its latest outbreak.
"We've seen lots of different people flouting these rules, not doing as they should, making really poor choices," he said.
He also announced the restrictions would be extended to September 2. He said it was necessary for Melbourne to avoid a Sydney-like situation.
More than eight million people in New South Wales state are under lockdown -- including in Sydney where residents have already been under those restrictions for almost two months.
Since the outbreak began in mid-June, Australia's most populous state has recorded more than 8200 cases.
A snap lockdown was announced for the northern city of Darwin on Monday, with about 150,000 people told to stop non-essential movements for three days after a man tested positive.
"We have made the decision to lock down fast because of what we do not know," Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner said.
"There is a very real risk that this virus has been transmitted to others."
Australia's capital Canberra will also remain in lockdown until September 2 as health officials grapple with a small but growing outbreak in the city.
Australia won global praise for its early pandemic response but strict border closures and other measures have struggled to contain the highly transmissible Delta variant.
(With inputs from agencies)