Eerie photos show Melbourne's deserted streets, shopping centres and sports grounds as Australia's coronavirus hotspot faces at least another three weeks of strict lockdown conditions

Eerie photos of Melbourne's deserted streets, shopping centres and sports grounds, have revealed the desolation of Victoria's stringent lockdown measures imposed three weeks ago to curb surging cases of coronavirus.
Melbourne, the capital city of Australia's pandemic hotspot, has a strict 'stage four' lockdown in place: curfews from 8pm to 5am, schools closed, only one person allowed out to shop per household and all sport and weddings are banned.
The city is just over halfway through the six-week draconian lockdown, which requires residents to remain at home unless on essential business, with fines of up to $1,650 (£900) levied.
Victoria on Wednesday recorded 149 new coronavirus cases with another 24 people dead - the second deadliest day since the pandemic began. 
The state recorded its highest number of COVID-19 fatalities on August 17, with 25 deaths. The latest fatalities take the state toll to 462 and the national figure to 549.
Of the new deaths, one was a woman in her 60s, three were men in their 70s, seven were men in their 80s, six were women in their 90s and four were men in their 90s. There are 21 deaths linked to aged care.  
There are currently 578 Victorians in hospital, with 39 of those fighting for life in intensive care, including 16 patients on ventilators. 
Melbourne's Docklands on Wednesday under strict stage four lockdown conditions. The measures are in place for six weeks, ending September 13 after sustained days of surging coronavirus cases. There are currently 578 Victorians in hospital, with 39 of those fighting for life in intensive care, including 16 patients on ventilators.
Melbourne's Docklands on Wednesday under strict stage four lockdown conditions. The measures are in place for six weeks, ending September 13 after sustained days of surging coronavirus cases. There are currently 578 Victorians in hospital, with 39 of those fighting for life in intensive care, including 16 patients on ventilators.
The Moorabbin Oval, known today as RSEA Park, home of the St Kilda Saints Football Club in Melbourne, Victoria. Victoria reported 149 new coronavirus cases yesterday with another 24 people dead - the second deadliest day since the pandemic began
The Moorabbin Oval, known today as RSEA Park, home of the St Kilda Saints Football Club in Melbourne, Victoria. Victoria reported 149 new coronavirus cases yesterday with another 24 people dead - the second deadliest day since the pandemic began
The Albert Park Lake in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday. The new coronavirus infections on Wednesday mark the third day the daily cases have dropped below 150 - with 148 on Tuesday and 116 on Monday. Despite the promising decline, Premier Daniel Andrews is attempting to extend Victoria's coronavirus State of Emergency beyond its September expiry date.
The Albert Park Lake in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday. The new coronavirus infections on Wednesday mark the third day the daily cases have dropped below 150 - with 148 on Tuesday and 116 on Monday. Despite the promising decline, Premier Daniel Andrews is attempting to extend Victoria's coronavirus State of Emergency beyond its September expiry date.
Deserted streets in suburban Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday. Despite a recent decline in new cases, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews is attempting to extend the state's coronavirus State of Emergency beyond its September expiry date. The state government wants to rewrite the Public Health and Wellbeing Act to allow a State of Emergency to last for up to 18 months.
Deserted streets in suburban Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday. Despite a recent decline in new cases, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews is attempting to extend the state's coronavirus State of Emergency beyond its September expiry date. The state government wants to rewrite the Public Health and Wellbeing Act to allow a State of Emergency to last for up to 18 months.
Pictured: A graph shows Victoria's second wave of coronavirus infections, from the end of June through to August
Pictured: A graph shows Victoria's second wave of coronavirus infections, from the end of June through to August
The new coronavirus infections on Wednesday mark the third day the daily cases have dropped below 150 - with 148 on Tuesday and 116 on Monday.  
Despite the promising decline, Premier Daniel Andrews is attempting to extend Victoria's coronavirus State of Emergency beyond its September expiry date.
The state government wants to rewrite the Public Health and Wellbeing Act to allow a State of Emergency to last for up to 18 months.
At present, a State of Emergency can only run for six months and is due to expire on September 13, along with Melbourne's stage four lockdown and regional Victoria's stage three rules.
Without the extension, Mr Andrews said the chief health officer would no longer able to issue public health directions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
These include rules around quarantine, face masks, mass gatherings and density limits for venues.
For the bill to pass parliament, Mr Andrews must rely on crossbench support. 
On Wednesday, the premier said he was having 'very productive' discussions with the crossbench.
'We're very confident that we will be able to get an outcome that both protects public health but just as importantly allows us to plan for the future with some certainty,' Mr Andrews said. 
'I want to make the point to every single Victorian - we will need rules for many months to come. 

Passenger jets are parked up at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Passenger jets are parked up at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
No players can be seen on the Albert Park Golf Course in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
No players can be seen on the Albert Park Golf Course in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Planes are parked up at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Planes are parked up at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Albert Park Golf Course, a championship course in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Albert Park Golf Course, a championship course in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
An empty park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
An empty park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A Holden car dealership in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A Holden car dealership in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Lakeside Stadium, home ground and administrative base for South Melbourne FC, Athletics Victoria, Athletics Australia, Victorian Institute of Sport and Australian Little Athletics, in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Lakeside Stadium, home ground and administrative base for South Melbourne FC, Athletics Victoria, Athletics Australia, Victorian Institute of Sport and Australian Little Athletics, in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Southland carpark in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Southland carpark in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Nepean Highway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Nepean Highway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Nepean Highway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Dandenong Road in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Nepean Highway (left) and the Dandenong Road in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
'But they will be about making sure that we can recover, making sure that we can rebuild, making sure that we can open up and find that COVID normal.' 
The new coronavirus cases reported on Wednesday came from 13,480 tests, causing concerns less residents are coming forward for testing.
The state usually conducts about 20,000 tests each day. 
Mr Andrews acknowledged the weather was not great over the weekend so residents might be less likely to go for a test. 
'It does make some sense that as you have less symptoms in the community, you have less people who are symptomatic coming forward and getting tested,' he said. 
A few people are seen taking exercise at a park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A few people are seen taking exercise at a park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The central Docklands area in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The central Docklands area in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Sprawling intersections of the Westgate Freeway are largely clear of vehicles in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Sprawling intersections of the Westgate Freeway are largely clear of vehicles in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
There are no cars to be seen on the Nepean Highway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
There are no cars to be seen on the Nepean Highway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The usually packed Southland carpark in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The usually packed Southland carpark in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The deserted central business district in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The deserted central business district in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Arden Street Oval, training base of the North Melbourne Football Club in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Arden Street Oval, training base of the North Melbourne Football Club in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Only a few people ventured out to this park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Only a few people ventured out to this park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Empty clay tennis courts in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Empty clay tennis courts in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The closed Albert Park Golf Course in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The closed Albert Park Golf Course in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
'Lockdown, I think, also makes it perhaps somewhat harder for people to go and get tested.' 
The premier said the average time it takes to get a coronavirus test result after the swab is less than a day.   
Mr Andrews again urged all Victorians to come forward for testing if they experience symptoms.
'It's a massive - a powerful thing that you can do to support everyone across the community in our strategy and our fight against this wildly infectious virus,' he said.  
Mr Andrews said the decline in COVID-19 infections from a peak of 725 was a 'mighty effort'. 
A closed school in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A closed school in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A pair of dog walkers at a deserted park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A pair of dog walkers at a deserted park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Westgate Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Westgate Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre in Victoria, on Wednesday
The Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre in Victoria, on Wednesday
Dandenong Road in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Westgate Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Dandenong Road (left) and the Westgate Freeway (right) in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A deserted park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A deserted park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The usually bustling Nepean Highway through Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The usually bustling Nepean Highway through Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The desolate South Bank in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The desolate South Bank in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Leibler Yavneh College in Elsternwickin, a private Jewish school which is usually attended by more than 700 pupils, in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The Leibler Yavneh College in Elsternwickin, a private Jewish school which is usually attended by more than 700 pupils, in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A deserted sports field in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A deserted sports field in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The premier said rules could be eased with 'the lightest touch possible' once coronavirus infections drop even further. 
'The task of rebuilding, the task of focusing exclusively on jobs and skills and strength. That's exactly where we're going to get to, but you can't get there with no rules at all,' he said. 
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos pleaded the government's case on Wednesday morning, stressing it would not mean a continuation of Melbourne's Stage 4 restrictions and the Stage 3 measures for regional Victoria.
'Essentially, (without the extension) we will go from stage four restrictions to falling off a cliff and having no rules, no restrictions in place, no measures in place to protect Victorians and save lives,' she told ABC National.
'It's about having some measures in place to see us through until such time as we have a vaccine.'
Quiet suburban roads on the outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Quiet suburban roads on the outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A few cars make their way along the City Link Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A few cars make their way along the City Link Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The financial district in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The financial district in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Public housing towers on Racecourse Road in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Public housing towers on Racecourse Road in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday 
Public housing towers on Racecourse Road in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Public housing towers on Racecourse Road in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday 
Public housing towers on Racecourse Road in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Public housing towers on Racecourse Road in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The quiet City Link Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The quiet City Link Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The quiet City Link Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday 
The quiet City Link Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The quiet City Link Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Ms Mikakos said Victoria was the only Australian state or territory with limitations on equivalent state of emergency legislation.
She said the extension would mean the government could continue with measures such as having people who test positive stay at home.
Otherwise, Ms Mikakos said there would be a 'total vacuum'.
But the extension proposal has sparked a massive backlash from the community as well as politicians.
'I understand people are anxious and we will work incredibly hard to make sure people understand that this is an insurance policy,' Ms Mikakos said.
A lone figure walks across a park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A lone figure walks across a park in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The deserted Essendon Airport in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The deserted Essendon Airport in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A couple of players can be seen at basketball and netball courts in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A couple of players can be seen at basketball and netball courts in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The deserted Tullamarine Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The deserted Tullamarine Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The largely deserted City Link Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
The largely deserted City Link Freeway in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Essendon Airport outside Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Essendon Airport outside Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Essendon Airport outside Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
Essendon Airport outside Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A cricket ground in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
A cricket ground in Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
n aerial view of Essendon Fields on the outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
n aerial view of Essendon Fields on the outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
An aerial view of Essendon Airport outside Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
An aerial view of Essendon Airport outside Melbourne, Victoria, on Wednesday
'We have to have a legal framework in place to enable our chief health officer to issue legal directions to keep some measures in place and save lives.'
There are calls for the government to only extend the state of emergency for three or six months, reporting back to parliament if it needs longer.
But Ms Mikakos said there were already checks and balances in place, noting the government had to report back to parliament every four weeks during the current state of emergency.
On Wednesday, Mr Andrews said there were 434 active coronavirus cases in health workers.
At least two-thirds of coronavirus-infected healthcare workers in Victoria have caught the illness while on the job. 
New detailed research unveiled on Tuesday shows at least 69 per cent of healthcare staff with COVID-19 in the second wave became infected in work settings. 
An aerial view of Docklands on August 26, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is in stage four lockdown for six weeks until September 13 after sustained days of high new COVID-19 cases
An aerial view of Docklands on August 26, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne is in stage four lockdown for six weeks until September 13 after sustained days of high new COVID-19 cases 
Eerie photos show Melbourne's deserted streets, shopping centres and sports grounds as Australia's coronavirus hotspot faces at least another three weeks of strict lockdown conditions Eerie photos show Melbourne's deserted streets, shopping centres and sports grounds as Australia's coronavirus hotspot faces at least another three weeks of strict lockdown conditions Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:09 Rating: 5

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