State of Emergency to be Extended

Aug 25, 2020

On 24 August 2020, Premier Daniel Andrews of Australia’s Victoria state — where Melbourne is located — announced plans to extend the current coronavirus-related state of emergency for an additional 12 months following the order’s expiration on 13 September. Andrews stated that on 1 September he will introduce legislation before the state parliament that if passed would amend the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 to allow for states of emergency to remain in place longer than the current legal maximum of six months. Victoria’s current state of emergency has been in place since 13 March, reaching the six-month mark on 13 September, after which it cannot be extended further per existing law. Legislators will have until that time to approve or reject the measure. The state of disaster declaration issued on 4 August is also set to expire on 13 September, lifting the current stage 4 restrictions and potentially reopening the state before the virus is contained. The state of emergency grants the chief health officer additional powers to implement a wide range of restrictions, health measures and curfews intended to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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