The Australian state of Victoria will reimpose tighter coronavirus restrictions after a spike in cases.
From Monday, there will be a stricter limit on the number of people allowed to meet up in public or visit another person’s home after 25 new cases of COVID-19 were reported overnight – the highest increase in two months – state Premier Daniel Andrews said.
The number of infections in Victoria, Australia‘s second-most populous state, has increased by at least 10 for the fourth day in a row, sparking fears of a second spike.
Mr Andrews blamed the rise in cases on people ignoring restrictions by gathering in large groups and kissing and hugging others.
He told a news conference on Saturday: “It is unacceptable that families anywhere in our state just because they want this to be over pretend that it is. It is not over.”
Brett Sutton, Victoria’s chief health officer, added: “We are absolutely at risk of a second peak but we can get on top of it.”
Victoria is responsible for around a quarter of Australia’s total reported 7,400 coronavirus cases.
While some of the country’s states and territories have reached zero active cases, Victoria has spiked to 116.
New stricter measures will come into force on 22 June and stay in place until 12 July. They will see the number of people allowed to gather in public reduced to 10 and those allowed to visit other people’s homes to just five.
Plans to open gyms, cinemas and theatres will still go ahead in Victoria on Monday, but customers will be limited to 20.
State officials have pushed back plans to increase the number of people allowed in venues from 20 to 50, with a review planned for 12 July.
Mr Andrews also warned that suburbs found to be viral hotspots could face stricter lockdowns.
The Australian Football League (AFL) called off a game scheduled to take place in Melbourne on Sunday after a player tested positive. The AFL has recently restarted fixtures, playing in empty stadiums.
Australia has reported just 102 deaths related to COVID-19, a relatively low number on a global scale.