Melbourne wakes to toughest lockdown restrictions in Australia

Melbourne is waking to the toughest coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the nation as health authorities attempt to stop the spread of the Delta variant.

A curfew is now in place from 9pm to 5am as stay-at-home orders in the Victorian capital are extended for at least another two weeks.

The restrictions are similar to what the city experienced last year during the height of the first wave.

READ MORE: Melbourne's lockdown extended for two weeks as curfew introduced

Residents of metropolitan Melbourne are not allowed to leave their homes unless they have a permit to conduct essential work, among other limited reasons.

Masks cannot be removed to consume alcohol outdoors.

The strict new move comes after people were seen ordering takeaway alcohol outside inner-city pubs in an attempt to dodge restrictions at the weekend.

Exercise is now limited to just one other person, plus dependents if they cannot be left at home.

Melburnians previously were able to exercise with their household.

The change means larger households, or share houses, cannot exercise with all members of their household.

Permits for authorised work will also return from 11.59pm tonight.

READ MORE: Victoria's coronavirus exposure site alerts soar past 500

The toughened rules came into force after the state recorded 22 new cases yesterday.

Police have also announced the 69 guests of an illegal engagement party, held during lockdown, will each be fined $5000 each.

Premier Daniel Andrews said he was particularly "angry" and disappointed at the "selfish choices" of the guests who chose to defy lockdown by gathering at a Caulfield North home last week.

There had been proven transmission of the virus at the party – with two COVID-19 cases having come from the gathering. There's fears it could become a super spreader event.

A massive $350,000 worth of fines are expected to be issued from the party.

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