The Latest: Masks now required for all of Australian state

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People wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the new coronavirus walk outside Flinders Street Station in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, July 23, 2020. There were few bare faces among rush-hour commuters in Australias second-largest city on Thursday morning as Melbourne residents were largely complying with a new law making face coverings compulsory. (James Ross/AAP Image via AP)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Australia’s coronavirus hot spot of Victoria state is making mask wearing compulsory statewide after reporting a new daily high of 723 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Masks have been compulsory in the state capital of Melbourne and a neighboring semi-rural district for the past week. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said Thursday that masks or other face coverings will be compulsory for the whole state beginning late Sunday.

In addition, residents around the city of Geelong will not be allowed to have visitors in their homes beginning late Thursday.

The 723 new cases exceeded the previous high of 532 cases posted Monday. The state also reported a new daily high of 13 deaths.

Melbourne and neighboring Mitchell Shire are halfway through a six-week lockdown, which Andrews says could be extended.

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