Melbourne will suffer a shock shutdown of most shops and services for six weeks, with thousands of jobs to be lost.
Panic buyers lining up at supermarkets for meat and fish could actually be right as new restrictions mean production will be slashed by a third. Melbourne is gripped by Stage 4 lockdown with an 8pm curfew, schools shut down, weddings banned, and citizens restricted to a 5km radius from their home.
Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday announced thousands more businesses would also have to shut down from Thursday as 429 more cases were diagnosed. Thirteen more Victorians also lost their lives overnight, bringing the state’s total to 136 and Australia’s to 221.
‘I never thought I’d find myself in a position where I’d have to ask people not to go to work,’ Mr Andrews admitted. ‘There is significant damage there needs to be done here, but to do that damage and fix the health problem and then be able to move then to rebuilding the economy.
‘We know that that damage is not just in dollars, that damage will present in lots of different ways.’ Increased restrictions on what qualifies as an essential business or worker mean most shops and entire industries will have to shut down.