- Shocking footage shows hordes of Melburnians gathering by a beach on Sunday
- Musician Anthony Callea, outraged by the incident, shared the clip on Facebook
- Melbourne goes into Stage 4 lockdown from 6pm on Sunday and rest to Stage 3
- Curfew bans anyone being out 8pm-5am unless working or on medical grounds
Alarming footage has emerged showing hordes of Melburnians congregating along a beach just hours before the city's tough new curfew kicks in.
People are not allowed outside their homes for almost any reason as of 8pm on Sunday as a state of disaster is declared over the coronavirus crisis.
But as Victorian authorities announced harsher restrictions to stem soaring COVID-19 cases, dozens of residents flocked along St Kilda Beach.
Musician Anthony Callea on Sunday shared a video of the crowd tightly packed as they walked shoulder-to-shoulder along the pavement.
The Australian Idol star blasted the residents, some who appeared to be flouting social distancing measures.
'Really Melbourne? Are you f**king kidding me?' Callea wrote, adding that he did not take the footage.
'Selfish, ignorant and deplorable behaviour! D******ds! Clearly the message and how it’s delivered is NOT WORKING! So angry.
'Why do so many people think they are above it all? These self entitled people will be the first to blame other people and the government for the current situation - we ALL have a role to play!
'To everyone doing the right thing, as a fellow Victorian.... THANK YOU!'
Callea added that it was 'another sad day for Victoria', which saw another 671 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours.
Thousands of outraged social media users slammed the actions of those in the video.
'And that right there is exactly WHY the situation isn’t improving. Get a clue, people! For goodness sake,' one person said.
'Come on Victoria, pull your heads in and make it happen. No need for blaming just do the right thing. No one is invincible!' another added.
'That is totally disgraceful in our neighbourhood! Thank God the restrictions are about to get a lot tougher, but no thanks to the people doing the wrong thing,' a third comment read.
Although it unclear when the video was filmed, Callea's post suggests it was taken on Sunday.
Nearly all people seen in the clip were wearing face masks, meaning it was filmed very recently.
Premier Daniel Andrews brought in the escalated emergency level as the state's worsening catastrophe shows no signs of ending.
Only 73 of the 671 new cases are linked to known and contained outbreaks, with 598 under investigation, and seven more people are dead.
Mr Andrews confirmed Melbourne will to go into strict Stage 4 lockdown from 8pm on Sunday until at least September 13.
Regional Victoria, which has 328 active cases, will go back into Stage 3 lockdown from 11.59pm on Wednesday as the virus spreads beyond hardest-hit Melbourne.
Melbourne's curfew will be in effect between 8pm and 5am every day, the only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving.
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.
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.
'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.
Supermarkets and bottle shops will remain open.
'I want to ensure all Victorians supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there,' Mr Andrews said.
The new restrictions are in some ways even harsher than the lockdown imposed by New Zealand.
Mr Andrews hoped cases could drop enough before September 13 that the restrictions wouldn't be extended, and could even end early.
'If everyone plays their part there is some prospect we can achieve our outcome before then,' he said.
Mr Andrew warned that police would no longer issue cautions or show leniency, they will just fine people $1,652 or drag them before courts.
'We always reserve the right not just to fine you on the spot but to take you to court and then it's not $1,652, it's actually $10,000,' he said.
'This will be over sooner if everyone does the right thing and plays the part they have to play.
'I've said it many times, I don't want the selfishness of some to detract from the amazing work millions are doing.
'These are the decisions made because anything short of this will not keep us safe. Anything short of this will see it go on for months and months and months.
'That is not acceptable to me having to stand here every day reporting more and more people dying. We need to come down on this hard. This is what this strategy is all about.
'We've avoided the worst-case scenario. Now we have to get to the covid normal and get there as quick as we possibly can.'
The looming harsher lockdown prompted thousands to flock to shops across Melbourne in a new round of panic buying.
Long lines and full trolleys were seen outside supermarkets as early as 7am - even though they would stay open under stage 4.
'There's a six-week period that we'll need to go through but the things people require for their essential day to day living will absolutely be available,' Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.
However, many other businesses will have to close or operate only remotely, with the details to be announced on Monday.
Cafes and restaurants will continue to provide takeaway services, but people will not be allowed to dine in.
Police will also step up their checks and increase patrols to stop potential breaches, and licence-plate recognition technology will be used to identify non-essential travellers.
There are 6,322 active cases in Victoria, with 385 in hospital, and 38 in ICU. The active cases include 649 health care workers.
Six of the seven new deaths were in aged care homes, where more than 1,000 residents are infected.
The deaths include three women in their 70s, two women in their 80s, one man in his 90s, and one woman in her 90s.