Melbourne residents are subject to one of the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns, including a nightly curfew.
It’s just one part of a broader ramping up of the law and order response to the virus in Victoria: from Sunday, those in metropolitan Melbourne were barred from leaving their home between 8pm and 5am except for urgent medical care, and have been told that in the hours before curfew they could only exercise for one hour per day within a 5km radius of their home. Those who test positive can expect to be door-knocked by police and Australian defence force personnel and face increased fines if they are not at home.
But is this the best use of police resources when combating a public health challenge of this magnitude?
Several experts suggested the Victorian government should be using law enforcement to ensure employers were keeping staff safe, rather than emphasising a heavy police response and curfews. It was also crucial to make sure all employers were providing access to pay and job security to employees who were home sick.