Victoria has registered 134 new cases of coronavirus when the state is fighting a major outbreak and all of Melbourne is preparing for a six-week ban from midnight.
Only 11 of the new cases are related to known outbreaks, raising concerns that the transmission of the community will spread throughout the city.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said that there are now 75 cases of fatal illness in nine social housing towers in the north of Melbourne that have been put under hard lock and that house 3,000 residents.
Forty people are in the hospital, seven are fighting for their lives when the total number of tests by the state on Tuesday exceeded 30,000 with 30,000 swabs.
Victoria has registered 134 new cases of coronavirus when the state is fighting a major outbreak and all of Melbourne is preparing for a six-week ban from midnight
On Wednesday morning, Mr. Andrews refused to answer why he employed private security forces instead of using the police to manage the hotel quarantine for returning travelers.
Dozens of cases from the Melbourne outbreak have been attributed to quarantine violations after the guards broke the social detachment rules, interacted with patients, and brought the virus home to their families.
In a heated interview on the Today Show, host Karl Stefanovic asked him: "How could you blame the Victorians for the outbreak yesterday when your government decided to deploy an incompetent private security force to protect the quarantined?
Local cases of community broadcasting have risen sharply in Melbourne over the past three weeks
“It's an incredibly catastrophic mistake right on the doorstep.
"Why don't you explain it? Why don't you just agree with people about what happened in quarantine? What went wrong right there. Why don't you just tell people? & # 39;
Mr. Andrews said he "did not come on the show to argue" and avoided the question by saying that an investigation was underway. In a subsequent press conference, he said he was not considering resigning.
From midnight, Melbourne residents are only allowed to leave their homes to work and study, give or take care of things, shop for the bare essentials, and exercise daily near where they live.
Police will prevent the Victorians from leaving or entering Melbourne with roadblocks and will perform bus-style alcohol controls, effectively sealing 5 million people in the city.
Officers said the mission – called "Operation Sentinel" – would use automatic license plate recognition to identify anyone who violated the rules.
There will also be vehicle checkpoints across the state – including the main thoroughfares to regional Victoria.
Officials will continue to make home visits and patrol public places across Victoria. Anyone who violates social distance restrictions will be fined $ 1,652.
The Victoria police have carried out 810 samples of households, businesses and non-essential services across the state in the last 24 hours. They imposed a total of 6,314 fines, including 15 people who held an AirBnb party last night.
Around 264 ADF soldiers support the deployment on site with a focus on planning, logistics and transport. They will also play a key role in monitoring the borders around Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
Meetings of more than two people who do not live together are prohibited. Beauty services and entertainment venues will be closed; Cafes, restaurants and pubs can only offer take-away dishes.
11th and 12th grade students and special schools will go back to class, but the holidays will be extended by one week for students up to 10th grade, after which distance learning will be possible.
The restrictions for the rest of Victoria remain the same – but residents can only enter Melbourne for maintenance, important shopping, and working or studying.
Prime Minister Andrews, under pressure, said the new ban was essential to avoid "thousands upon thousands" of cases and "many, many people in hospital".
"This is a pandemic that will kill thousands of people if we completely miss it," he said.
Long wait: Australians brave the 40-minute queues to get to work this morning on the first day the New South Wales-Victoria border was closed due to a major Coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne
A spokesman for Service NSW said the approval application system was in high demand, which caused it to crash this morning. Pictured: Queues for Albury
"We are aware that there have been delays in issuing a permit for some people and we apologize for the delay," the spokesman said in a statement. Pictured: Queues for Albury
All of Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire north of the city will be banned for six weeks from 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday after Victoria registered 191 new cases of coronavirus – the worst ever. Pictured: A map with the blocked suburbs
Mr. Andrews said that the case numbers "get worse before they get better". He told Prime Minister Scott Morrison about the new ban and asked hundreds of ADF troops to help enforce it.
The prime minister also said he had spoken to Mr. Morrison about the possibility of extending JobKeeper and the increased JobSeeker payment due to expire in September for Victorians who are suspended until August 19.
"I am confident that the Prime Minister knows and understands that there will be different forms of distress in different parts of the country, in different industries and in different sectors," he said.
After announcing the new ban, Mr. Andrews was upset by Michael O & # 39; Brien, the leader of the Victorian opposition, for "not taking responsibility for his own mistakes" regarding the hotel quarantine.
Today it was the first time since the Spanish flu outbreak in 1919 that the border between NSW and Victoria was closed.
New lock: Victoria on Tuesday 191 new cases of coronavirus – the worst number ever. Pictured: Police and nurses with protective gear in front of high-rise buildings in the north of Melbourne
The Australians brave the 90-minute queues to get to work on the first day this morning. The border between New South Wales and Victoria was closed for the first time since the outbreak of the Spanish flu in 1919 due to a major outbreak of the Coronavirus in Melbourne.
A line of cars meandered hundreds of meters along the Lincoln Causeway between Wodonga in Victoria and Albury in New South Wales as 600 policemen braved heavy fog and temperatures of 3 ° C overnight and this morning to overcome the 1,000 km border .
The two cities are only 7 km apart and hundreds of inhabitants live in one and work in the other, which means that the border closure that came into effect at midnight has turned their lives upside down.
The NSW police commissioner told ABC Radio that five cars had been stopped and turned over because they came from hotspot postcodes in the metropolitan areas of Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, where communities are preparing for a six-week ban from midnight on Wednesday.
Up to 500 defense forces are deployed to help checkpoints with roadblocks and drones at 55 border crossings.
A line of cars meandered hundreds of meters along the Lincoln Causeway between Wodonga in Victoria and Albury in New South Wales. Pictured: commuters on the right are waiting to come to work in Albury, NSW