More than 650 cases of COVID-19 will be announced today in Victoria, along with a record number of deaths, according to media reports.
The state is set to move to Stage 4 coronavirus restrictions within days and stricter measures could reportedly come into force in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to address the numbers and announce any lockdown changes on Sunday afternoon.
According to The Herald Sun, only supermarkets, pharmacies and service stations will be allowed to keep trading in Melbourne, with a possible exception carved out for hardware stores, which could stay open for tradies only. Cafes and restaurants will be able to provide takeaway services.
There will be a huge increase in police patrols, and the cops are expected to use licence plate recognition technology to crack down on non-essential travel.
The Age reports there will be a “near total shutdown” of Melbourne’s public transport network.
ABC Insiders host David Speers on Sunday morning said he understood further restrictions would affect call centres, retail and abattoirs.
“Restaurants and cafes will still be allowed to offer takeaway with strict contactless service provisions. Trams and trains will still run, but Uber and taxi services will be restricted. And the tougher restrictions will apply beyond metropolitan Melbourne,” he said.
Meanwhile, Queensland recorded one new case of COVID-19 on Sunday after a man who returned from overseas but was granted an exemption to fly domestically from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast tested positive. There were 12 new cases in NSW where Premier Gladys Berejiklian said masks will be encouraged in certain circumstances from Monday.
Follow our live coverage of COVID-19 in Australia below.
Mr Andrews will be declaring a state of disaster across Victoria from 6pm tonight, in addition to the state of emergency.
Mr Andrews said he wanted to highlight the number of mystery cases.
“That is, in many respects, the most important number,” he said.
“As of today – and this number will only grow because there are 598 cases that are being investigated by our public health team – but as of today, from work that’s been undertaken in recent days, we have 760, 760 mystery cases.
“They are active cases where we can’t trace back the source of that person’s infection. Either who they got it from or where or how.
“Those mysteries, that community transmission is in many respects our biggest challenge and the reason why we need to move to a different set of rules.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says he has some “significant announcements about new measures, new rules for both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria”.
He has confirmed 671 new cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths.
The victims are three women in their 70s, two women in their 80s, one man in his 90s and one woman in her 90s.
He said six of the seven cases are connected to aged care.
One new case of COVID-19 has been recorded in Western Australia.
“The Department of Health has reported one new case of COVID-19 in Western Australia overnight, a man in his 30s who returned from overseas. He is in hotel quarantine,” WA Health said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.
“This brings the total case count to 641.”
The department said the total is reduced from Saturday’s figure of 668 “because historical cases diagnosed through a blood test and indicative of infection in the past are no longer being reported in the daily report or in overall figures”.
“This change has been made to bring WA’s reporting closer into line with other Australian jurisdictions,” it said.
There have been two new cases of COVID-19 recorded in South Australia.
One is a teenage girl who flew from Melbourne on a Jetstar flight, SA chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said on Sunday.
Seven close contacts have been ordered to quarantine.
The second case is a woman in her 20s considered a close contact of a known case.
A woman with COVID-19 has attended a school in SA however it is not yet clear which school.
The Advertiser reports there will be a pop-up clinic to test people at the school on Monday. The name is being withheld by SA Health until the school community has been informed.
The wait is almost over. We are expecting Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to hold a press conference at 2.30pm today.
We’ll have rolling coverage on this blog.
A man in Adelaide has been fined $6360 after going to the gym instead of staying in quarantine for 14 days.
South Australia Police described the penalty on Sunday as “whopping”.
“On 20 July, a 25-year-old man from Woodside, returned to Adelaide after holidaying in New South Wales, via Adelaide Airport and was directed to self-quarantine for 14 days,” SA Police said in a statement.
“An investigation ensued after police received information that the man was breaching those directions.
“The man allegedly admitted to breaching the directions by attending a gym and he was issued six fines totalling $6360.”
Large crowds of shoppers have been photographed outside supermarkets in Melbourne today.
Queues formed outside Costco in Docklands, at Coles in Malvern and other locations across the city.
Victoria is still waiting to hear from Premier Daniel Andrews today to confirm the COVID-19 case numbers, deaths and any new restrictions.
Pictures: Paul Jeffers/The Australian; Darrian Traynor/Getty Images; Twitter/@jordaaaye
Good news – if you have questions about COVID-19 in South Australia, the information line is back up and running.
Two other venues in Sydney have been highlighted by NSW Health as being locations attended by positive COVID-19 cases.
CANTERBURY-HURLSTONE PARK RSL
* Visited Monday, July 27 from 6.3pm to 8pm
“Patrons and staff of the Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL who attended at the same time should monitor for symptoms and if symptoms develop, seek testing and isolate themselves pending the test results,” the health department said on Sunday.
NEETA SHOPPING CENTRE, FAIRFIELD
* Visited a number of times between July 23 and July 30 including the Soul Pattinson Chemist, Woolworths and Fresco Juice Bar
“While the risk to others is thought low, anyone who visited the shopping centre on these days should to monitor for symptoms and if symptoms develop, seek testing and isolate themselves pending the test results,” NSW Health said.