Residents of the city and several surrounding towns must stay in their homes for six weeks, except for essential reasons such as work, exercise, food shopping and health care, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Tuesday.
AUSTRALIA CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK FORCES STATE'S BORDER CLOSURE FOR FIRST TIME IN A CENTURY
The announcement comes as Andrews said the state saw 191 more positive cases, the most infections ever recorded in a single day since the pandemic began.
"We are on the cusp of something very, very bad if we don't take these steps," Andrews said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. “A sense of complacency has crept into us ... each of us knows someone who has not been following the rules as well as they should have."
Schools will delay reopening classrooms and continue distance learning during the duration of the lockdown while restaurants will shift to takeout service only, the BBC reported.
Victoria also closed its border to New South Wales, adding military patrols to prevent illegal travel. The last time the two states closed their borders to each other was during the Spanish flu pandemic in 1919, Reuters reported.
Australia has been among the world’s most successful countries in containing its coronavirus outbreak, except for a recent spike in Melbourne. The country has reported more than 8,500 cases and 106 deaths.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.