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Australia's Victoria state to enter snap one-week COVID-19 lockdown

FILE PHOTO: An essential worker walks past a ‘Please Stay Home’ sign on the first day of a five-day lockdown implemented in the state of Victoria in response to a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Melbourne, Australia, February 13, 2021. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s second most populous state of Victoria will enter a one-week COVID-19 lockdown, forcing its near seven million residents to remain home except for essential business in a bid to contain a fresh virus cluster.

Victoria state Acting Premier James Merlino told reporters in Melbourne that starting from 11:59 pm (1359 GMT) local time Thursday, people will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential work, healthcare, grocery shopping or exercise.

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