Victoria declares state of disaster after 671 new cases of COVID-19

The Australian state of Victoria has declared a state of disaster starting Sunday evening after 671 new cases of coronavirus and seven deaths.

Premier Daniel Andrews says stage four restrictions on movement and businesses in Melbourne are necessary to contain the spread of the deadly virus, which is overwhelming the state.

At his press conference on Sunday afternoon, Andrews says a curfew will be implemented in Melbourne from 8pm to 5am starting Sunday evening.

People in Melbourne will not be allowed to go further than 5km from their homes. Only one person per household will be allowed to go shopping once a day.

"You will not be able to be at any point more than 5km away from your home for the purposes of shopping for what you need," Andrews says.

"Only one person will be able to go shopping once per day and they will need to secure the goods and services that are what you need within a 5km radius.

"The only reason to be out of your home between the hours of 8pm and 5am is to get care, to give care, or to go to and from work or be at work. We can no longer have people visiting others. We can no longer have people simply out and about for no good reason whatsoever."

Regional Victoria will also enter stage three restrictions starting midnight on Wednesday.

"Given the significant community transmission and the growing case numbers, and the fact we need to stay ahead of this in regional Victoria, from midnight next Wednesday, regional Victoria will move to stage three restrictions," Andrews says.

"That's stay at home, except for the four reasons to leave. That will mean restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, a whole range of other settings will need to close from midnight next Wednesday."

All schools across the state will move to flexible and remote learning.

"The children, the students of parents who are working, they will be able to go to school and be supervised but it will really only be those that are absolutely necessary to do so," Andrews says.

"We'll be reducing the total amount of students that are at school and therefore the total amount of movement."

The restrictions will apply for six weeks.