Coles and Woolworths will introduce new trading hours for Melbourne residents to ensure shoppers comply with the city’s new lockdown curfew.
The city went into a Stage 4 lockdown on Sunday night until at least September 13.
For the next six weeks, Melburnians are banned from leaving their homes between 8pm and 5am unless for work or care-related reasons.
In response to the curfew, both supermarkets will shut up shop at 7.45pm every night, which is 15 minutes before the curfew begins.
Coles Express outlets are continuing to trade as normal so essential workers and transport providers are able to access fuel and other necessities.
Coles and Woolworths will introduce new trading hours for Melbourne residents as the city goes into a stricter lockdown
In response to the new rules, both major supermarkets will shut up shop at 7.45pm every night, which is 15 minutes before the curfew begins
Melburnians caught outside their homes between 8pm and 5am without a valid reason will cop a $1,652 fine as of Sunday night
In response to the night curfews, Coles announced late on Sunday all of its supermarkets, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars, First Choice and First Choice Liquor Market stores across Melbourne will close at 7.45pm each night.
The last shoppers will allowed to enter the store 15 minutes prior.
‘In line with the curfew requirements, we ask that customers shop alone wherever possible and visit our stores no more than once per day,’ a spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Coles has safely served more than 350 million customers since the pandemic began, and we will continue to work closely with State and Federal Government health experts to implement any further safety measures they recommend.
The supermarket giant has asked residents to shop alone and visit stores no more than once per day, in line with government advice.
A Woolworths spokeswoman said all supermarkets were aligned following the curfew announcement with their closure times in Metropolitan Melbourne.
Premier Daniel Andrews brought in the escalated emergency level as the state’s worsening catastrophe shows no signs of ending.
Only one person in a household can go shopping per day and exercise is limited to one hour a day – both must be within 5km from home.
All recreational activity is banned and no more than two people can be together outside, even if they are from the same family or household.
‘That means it’s fresh air. It’s a jog. It’s a walk. It’s in your local neighbourhood. It is staying close to home or in your home,’ Mr Andrews said.
The looming harsher lockdown prompted thousands to flock to shops across Melbourne in a new round of panic buying
Victoria recorded 671 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday (pictured). A Stage 4 lockdown will see nearly all shops close and high school students back to learning from home
He admitted the one-hour limit wouldn’t be enforceable, but that police would be vigilant about the 5km as ‘you are or you aren’t’ close enough.
The premier said the extremely tight restrictions was necessary to prevent to the lockdown dragging on until Christmas.
What Melbourne’s Stage 4 lockdown means for you
State of disaster: Increased police powers to enforce the lockdown. Cautions will no longer be issued, only $1,652 fines or court summons
Curfew: No one allowed outside 8pm to 6am except for work, medical, caregiving – no shopping or exercising
Distance limit: Shopping and exercise can only be done 5km from home
Exercise: All recreational activity is banned and you can only exercise, with one other person, for one hour a day. Kicking a ball around is ok but not tennis, fishing, golf, boating
Partners: You can visit a boyfriend or girlfriend who doesn’t live with you, even if they live more than 5km away
Shopping: Only one person can go shopping per household per day
Cafes and restaurants stay open for takeaway, as do supermarkets, etc
Schools: All students learning from home from Wednesday unless they are vulnerable or parents are essential workers. Kindy and childcare close on Thursday (same exceptions apply)
Funerals: No change to funeral limits, but only 10 mourners can leave Melbourne to regional Victoria for one
Weddings: Completely banned
Public transport: Slashed after 8pm and cancelled late at night
‘Six weeks versus a slower strategy. A much, much slower strategy that takes up to six months,’ he said.
‘I’m not prepared to accept that or accept days and days and days of hundreds of cases and more and more death.
‘All of those changes are about limiting the number of people we come into contact with.
‘Daily exercise is just that. It’s an opportunity to get some exercise. It’s not an opportunity to live our lives as if this pandemic was not real and not here.’
Partners who don’t live together will still be able to visit each other, even if they live more than 5km apart.
Weddings are completely banned and though funerals can go ahead, only 10 people can travel from Melbourne to regional Victoria to attend one.
‘Weddings will not be occurring in Melbourne unless there is a compassionate reason, and there are often circumstances where someone may not have a very long to live, for instance,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘We will be as generous as we can be. Those matters need to wait.
‘There are so many different things that have to wait because they pose an unreasonable risk.’
Melbourne school students – about a million children – will have to learn remotely unless their parents are essential workers, or they are vulnerable children who need to learn face-to-face.
They will go to school on Monday, have a pupil free day on Tuesday, and be learning at home from Wednesday.
The General Achievement Test for year 12 students will be moved from the end of term three to the start of term four.
The VCE exam dates will not change, finishing by December 2 as planned and ATAR results handed out by the end of the year.
Kindy and pre-primary students will go home from Thursday, and childcare centres will be closed for children whose parents aren’t essential workers.
‘We know this will be a significant ask of parents with little ones – and big ones too. But I promise, as a parent to three, it’s an ask I don’t make lightly,’ Mr Andrews said.
Mr Andrews hoped cases could drop enough before September 13 that the restrictions wouldn’t be extended, and could even end early.