Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called for a judicial inquiry into the quarantine hotel incident that lead to a new outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.
Residents in Melbourne, which went back into lockdown at midnight on Wednesday, have to remain home for all but essential business for the next six weeks.
Victoria, to the south, has banned worldwide arrivals after breaches of hotel quarantine in Melbourne were blamed for Australia's only widespread transmission of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Australia's premier football league was finally set to resume competition after its three Melbourne teams were Thursday cleared to leave virus-plagued Victoria state to play the delayed season in neighbouring New South Wales. "We are still in a fortunate position and we have gone to a lockdown at this juncture in order not to have those kind of pressures manifest in our system", Sutton said.
Australia will more than halve the rate at which its citizens and permanent residents can return home on global flights to reduce numbers in hotel quarantine, the federal and state governments have agreed.
More than 125,000 exemption permits were issued by Thursday for people living in NSW-Victoria border communities, allowing them to cross between the two. They are encouraged to take up alternative accommodations while they isolate, but if they choose not to, each resident will have a single point of contact with daily check-ins and food, medical care and mental support services will be provided.
Morrison did not reveal how arrivals would be limited under his plan but said it was important that numbers be contained to prevent hotel quarantine failures such as the one which has caused a spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria. Eastern Bihar state reimposed a full lockdown in capital Patna and four other districts for a week beginning Friday.
To ease the pain for businesses in Melbourne forced to shut again and holiday spots hit by cancellations, the state government also said it would provide a further A$534 million ($371 million), on top of A$6 billion already provided.
Outside Victoria, most of Australia's COVID-19 cases have been detected in hotel quarantine.
Health authorities had warned that Victoria's coronavirus outbreak was likely to worsen before it improved.
"Other people, where physical distancing can not be guaranteed, they should also wear a mask in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire", Kelly advised.
Ms Berejiklian this week said her government will also consider either establishing a border north of Albury or making exemption permits harder to get if there's an increase in cases.
Drivers getting tested for COVID-19 at the drive-thru clinic at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds. All states and territories but New South Wales had eradicated community transmission of the virus, but Victoria-linked infections are spreading.