Melbourne orders compulsory masks

Anyone venturing out in Australia's second-biggest city has been ordered to wear a mask as authorities struggle to contain multiple coronavirus clusters in the country's southeast. Most people seen on the quiet streets of Melbourne's city centre wore masks in the second week of a six-week local lockdown.

Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, recorded 422 coronavirus cases on Thursday – a dip from a record peak of 484 on Wednesday, but its 18th consecutive day of triple-digit rises. The mandatory mask order allows police to issue fines of $140 (Aus$200) to anyone who refuses to cover their face in public, although previous lockdown rules have generally been enforced with warnings.

Elsewhere in Australia, masks are rare. Australia has now recorded more than 13,300 cases of the virus and 133 fatalities among its population of about 25 million.

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