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One of the world’s ‘most livable’ cities just went into full lockdown mode as coronavirus cases spike

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By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch


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A sign reading 'GO STRAIGHT HOME & ISOLATE' is displayed at the exit of a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at the Highpoint shopping center in Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne, which had been named the “ world’s most livable city ” for seven straight years before being beaten out by Vienna in 2018, won’t be feeling quite so livable for the next six weeks.

Australia’s second biggest city faces strict lockdown measures as the state of Victoria saw another record spike in coronavirus cases — 671 in a single day, CNN reported .

How strict? Starting Sunday evening, a curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. will be enforced, with the premier of Victoria ordering the region into a “state of disaster.”

Hear more from Premier Daniel Andrews:

“We have to do more,” he pleaded, “and we have to do more right now,” telling people that, “Where you slept last night is where you’ll need to stay for the next six weeks.”

Furthermore, only one person per household in Melbourne, which spent most of July under these restrictions, will be allowed to leave their homes once a day outside the curfew restrictions. And that’s only to pick up essential goods within a five-kilometer radius of their home.

As for exercise, only an hour a day is allowed within that same radius.

State opposition leader Michael O’Brien reportedly took exception to the decision , saying Victorians “don’t deserve this” and that, “In declaring a state of disaster, Andrews has conceded that his government has lost control of COVID-19 in this state.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S., where lockdown measures are nowhere near as strict, some 4.6 million have been infected, and more than 154,000 have died from the disease, according to the latest from Johns Hopkins University. The death toll is projected to reach 173,000 within three weeks, according to a new composite forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited by CNN . That’s an average of almost 1,000 deaths every day.

Read on (from the archives: December 2018): Chicago, Porto and Melbourne ‘have it all,’ says Time Out — Chicago, especially

Shawn Langlois is an editor and writer for MarketWatch in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @slangwise.

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