Daniel Andrews' stage four restrictions have come under fire from leading political commentators after he placed Melbourne under draconian curfew laws while the rest of Australia 'returns to normal'.
The Victorian premier declared a State of Disaster on Sunday afternoon after 671 new COVID-19 cases that day - bringing the state's number of active cases to 6,322.
Until at least September 13, Melbourne residents are now banned from leaving their homes between 8pm and 5am other than for work, care-giving, medical reasons or on compassionate grounds.
The city's population of 4.9million people have also been banned from travelling more than 5km from home to do their shopping, prompting outspoken The Project host Steve Price to say Mr Andrews had 'totally let down' Victorians.
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Pictured: Empty trams cross in front of Flinders Street Station on Sunday. Melbourne residents are banned from leaving their homes between 8pm and 5am other than for a small number of essential reasons under an unprecedented night-time curfew
Outspoken The Project host Steve Price followed Mr Andrews' announcement by saying the Victorian Premier had 'totally let down' residents of the state
'Victorians today feeling totally let down by everyone from Premier Andrews and all his colleagues down,' he said on Twitter.
'While the rest of the nation returns to normal this state heads to a harsh lockdown destroying businesses... and causing death and despair... disgraceful failure.'
Regional Victorians have also had further restrictions imposed on their freedom as they re-entered stage three restrictions.
The Australian economics editor Adam Creighton also hit out at the unprecedented increase in restrictions for Melbourne - calling them 'shameful' on social media.
'Shameful what's occurring in Victoria. Effective dictatorship declared. Devastating, destructive power of the state on full display. Respect for the individual clearly irrelevant. What's the point in being alive if you can't live?' he said.
He referred to how the Swedish government - which kept restaurants and cafes open during lockdown - has handled the virus, noting their daily death rate had substantially fallen in recent months.
The European country has however had more than 80,000 confirmed cases as well as 5,743 deaths - almost 30 times higher than Australia's 208 COVID-19 fatalities.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Cap on Monday morning spoke of a 'level of exhaustion' and a sense of 'devastation' for businesses in Australia's second most populated city.
Bourke Street in the heart of Melbourne resembled a ghost town on Sunday night as the tough new curfew kicked in at 8pm
The Australian economics editor Adam Creighton declared the unprecedented lockdown restrictions 'shameful'
Another journalist said the Melbourne property market would likely be 'toast' after six weeks of stage four restrictions
A 'Curfew In Place' road sign above a street in Melbourne as the city entered lockdown on Sunday
'I think people are genuinely concerned about how long they can continue to operate in an online environment, how long they can continue to operate during lockdown,' she told the Today show.
'We can't really overstate to people the impact that we have already seen on small businesses, in particular those businesses where it is difficult to work from home, where they are reliant on customers popping into their shops.
'There is a level of exhaustion. There is a sense of devastation.'
She said Melbourne's local political powers were working to help the community's vulnerable get through the enhanced restrictions.
Wearing a brightly-coloured face mask on Monday morning as she spoke in front of the Melbourne CBD, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Cap said businesses in the city were feeling a sense of 'devastation'
Steve Price noted the restrictions were coming into place while the rest of Australia 'returns to normal'. Pictured are large crowds at North Bondi Beach on Sunday
'We need to maintain that sense of caring for those who are in need but at the same time the best thing everyone can do is be vigilant around adhering to the restrictions,' she said.
State opposition leader Michael O'Brien released a statement on Sunday which took a balanced approach to the hardened lockdown.
'Victorians don't deserve this. I can understand why they're angry,' he wrote.
But he also called on the state's residents to 'get through this together'.
'We simply must prevail and get this virus back under control, despite how bitter the medicine is,' he said.
Usually packed with diners, the bright lights were the only signs of life in Melbourne's China Town on Sunday night
State of disaster: Increased police powers to enforce the lockdown. Cautions will no longer be issues, only $1,652 fines or court summons
Curfew: No one allowed outside 8pm to 6am except for work, medical, caregiving - no shopping or exercising
Distance limit: Shopping and exercise can only be done 5km from home
Exercise: All recreational activity is banned and you can only exercise, with one other person, for one hour a day
Partners: You can visit a boyfriend or girlfriend who doesn't live with you, even if they live more than 5km away
Shopping: Only one person can go shopping per household per day
Cafes and restaurants stay open for takeaway, as do supermarkets, etc
Schools: All students learning from home from Wednesday unless they are vulnerable or parents are essential workers. Kindy and childcare close on Thursday (same exceptions apply)
Funerals: No change to funeral limits, but only 10 mourners can leave Melbourne to regional Victoria for one
Weddings: Completely banned
Public transport: Slashed after 8pm and cancelled late at night
Anti-mask conspiracy theorists on Sunday meanwhile reacted to Victoria's declaration of a State of Disaster with fury, immediately vowing to defy Melbourne's coronavirus curfew.
They described the new rules as 'absolute tyranny'.
'[Victorian] people need to revolt like the Germans,' wrote one Facebook user.
The post was referring to anti-lockdown protests in Germany on Saturday that saw an estimated 17,000 people march through Berlin, some holding signs such as 'Corona false alarm'.
In a reference to Nazi Germany, another conspiracy theorist jumped on board saying: 'Next will be for your own good get on the train and people will believe.'
In Nazi Germany, Jewish people were put on a train from the ghetto that led straight to the death camp of Auschwitz.
A resident is removed from St Basil's Homes for the Aged in Fawkner in Melbourne's north on Friday after Premier Daniel Andrews announced a ban on the majority of elective surgeries to free up hospital beds for the coronavirus-stricken elderly
A Twitter user reposted the Facebook comments by anti-lockdown conspiracy theorists who compared Melbourne's Stage Four lockdowns to Nazi Germany's genocidal dictatorship
The phrase suggests people should not trust governments when they tell people to do things for their own good.
More Nazi references were made comparing Victoria's coronavirus crisis response to the Reichstag fire that preceded