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Melbourne residents were fined $ 4,957 for leaving the lockdown for regional Victoria


Daniel Andrews has set up a so-called "Ring of Steel" around Melbourne to prevent residents from driving into regional Victoria, where coronavirus restrictions have finally been relaxed.

Although there are no real fences, police will use checkpoints on major highways, automatic license plate recognition, and extra patrols at bus and train stations to catch city dwellers trying to evade a strict lockdown.

Five million Melbourne residents trapped in one of the world's longest lockdowns are fined $ 4,957 for breaking public health rules if they dare to leave the country.

The isolation of Australia's second largest city is similar to the lockdown of Wuhan, the Chinese metropolis of nine million people, where the coronavirus was identified late last year.

Wuhan was closed on January 23 as all flights, trains and buses were canceled and steel fences were erected outside of residential buildings to keep residents in their homes.

The lockdown was lifted after eleven weeks in April, four weeks less than Melbourne's shutdown is expected to take.

Victoria recorded just 28 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday – the lowest daily total since June 24.

Daniel Andrews has effectively set up a "ring of steel" around Melbourne to prevent residents from traveling to regional Victoria

Although there are no actual fences, police will use checkpoints on major highways, automatic license plate recognition, and additional patrols. Pictured: a checkpoint in Geelong

Although there are no actual fences, police will use checkpoints on major highways, automatic license plate recognition, and additional patrols. Pictured: a checkpoint in Geelong

Prime Minister Andrews (pictured) is keen to prevent the coronavirus from spreading from Melbourne to the regions

Prime Minister Andrews (pictured) is keen to prevent the coronavirus from spreading from Melbourne to the regions

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Officials say they will control cars with trailers and fishing rods, and step up patrols in campsites and national parks to catch any urban dwellers who have escaped.

There will also be more controls at popular vacation spots like the Mornington Peninsula, where many well-heeled Melburnians have second homes.

On Wednesday, key checkpoints were set up on the Princes Freeway in Little River towards Geelong and the Calder Freeway near Sunbury en route to Bendigo.

Prime Minister Andrews is keen to prevent the coronavirus from spreading from Melbourne to the regions that have seen significantly fewer cases and that were taken out of lockdown on Wednesday evening.

He said, “Whether you want to call it a ring of steel or a border, or whatever the term, the main objective is very simple: only those who have to go to the Victoria area and have a legitimate reason to go to the Victoria area, can go to regional Victoria.

"We have to be inflexible in this regard."

He added, “The police don't screw. If you are from Melbourne and are in regional Victoria and do not have a proper excuse, you will be fined.

“The Victorians gave a lot, but we have to protect the low numbers in regional Victoria.

"Anyone who thinks they could make their way to regional Victoria and not get caught, I think your chances are very slim."

Melbourne's lockdown will last 15 weeks, a month longer than the lockdown of Wuhan (pictured), the Chinese city where the virus was first identified late last year

Melbourne's lockdown will last 15 weeks, a month longer than the lockdown of Wuhan (pictured), the Chinese city where the virus was first identified late last year

The Chinese city of Wuhan was closed on January 23 when nine million residents (pictured) were prevented from leaving the city

The Chinese city of Wuhan was closed on January 23 when nine million residents (pictured) were prevented from leaving the city

A worker in protective clothing checks an elderly woman's body temperature at the entrance to a bank in Wuhan, China, in March

A worker in protective clothing checks an elderly woman's body temperature at the entrance to a bank in Wuhan, China, in March

Mr Andrews also asked pub landlords to verify customers' identities to make sure they were not from Melbourne.

"If you're not from the Victoria area you shouldn't be in the pub and that compliance will be very, very important," he said.

Victoria was locked again on July 8th after the coronavirus escaped hotel quarantine in late May and spread rapidly. As of August 5, around 700 cases were recorded in a day and more than 700 people have died, mostly in elderly care.

Under Mr Andrews' schedule of restrictions, Melbourne will remain locked until the weekly average falls below five, which is not expected until October 26th.

That would mean Melbourne's lockdown would have lasted 15 weeks, a month longer than the Wuhan lockdown.

Police will try to catch city dwellers trying to escape strict coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: a checkpoint in Kalkallo

Police will try to catch city dwellers trying to escape strict coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: a checkpoint in Kalkallo

Officials say they will control cars with trailers and fishing rods, and step up patrols in campsites and national parks. Pictured: a checkpoint in Albury

Officials say they will control cars with trailers and fishing rods, and step up patrols in campsites and national parks. Pictured: a checkpoint in Albury

The four reasons to leave the house no longer apply to regional Victoria, most workplaces are reopening and schools are returning with a staggered start.

The meeting limit has been increased to 10 people outdoors and up to five nominated visitors from another budget bubble.

Restaurants operate with a limit of 10 indoor and 50 outdoor seats.

Congregation limits have also increased to 10 people at weddings, 20 mourners at funerals, and 10 people and one religious leader at outdoor religious gatherings.

Children can also return to community sports and adults can participate in non-contact sports.

Melburnians (pictured on Elwood Beach) are expected to remain in jail until October 26th

Melburnians (pictured on Elwood Beach) are expected to remain in jail until October 26th

Everyone in Melbourne has to wear a mask when they leave the house. Pictured: Residents on South Melbourne Beach

Everyone in Melbourne has to wear a mask when they leave the house. Pictured: Residents on South Melbourne Beach

Mr Andrews announced the eased restrictions on regional Victorians on Tuesday.

& # 39; I am so, so pleased and proud of every single regional Victorian who has held the course, followed the rules, and been tested.

"There is no better evidence for the people of Melbourne that this strategy of keeping the numbers down is essential," said Andrews.

Melbourne took its first tentative steps out of lockdown on Monday. Single or single parents were allowed to have a visitor, outdoor exercise was extended to two hours and the curfew start time was postponed by one hour to 9 p.m.

What can regional Victorians do under loose restrictions starting Thursday, September 17th?

The outdoor meeting limits are increased to 10 people. This figure does not include infants under 12 months of age.

People in the Victoria area can also leave their homes without restrictions.

The limits for religious gatherings and outdoor weddings will be increased to 10 people, while the limits for burials will be increased to 20 mourners.

Five visitors are allowed to enter a house from a nominated household.

The schools will work normally again in the first two weeks of the fourth semester.

A maximum of 10 people are allowed to participate in outdoor auctions.

Children can return to community sports, and adults can practice non-contact sports.

Regional Victorians can travel and vacation in regional parts of the state – tourist accommodation is also opening up in these areas

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