The whole of Melbourne will be placed into lockdown for the next six weeks as the city struggles to deal with its coronavirus outbreak.
All local government areas in Melbourne along with the Mitchell Shire to the city’s north will have Stage 3 restrictions reimposed from 11.59pm on Wednesday.
Residents will only be allowed to leave their home for work or study, to shop for essential items such as food, to exercise, to receive medical care or provide care to a relative.
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It comes after Victoria recorded a further 191 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the state’s highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic.
Victoria now has a total of 2824 cases with the number of active cases growing to 772.
Premier Daniel Andrews says they have to take drastic action now before it’s too late.
“These are unsustainably high numbers of new cases, it is simply impossible with case rates at this level to have enough contact tracing staff, to have enough physical resources no matter where they come from, no matter what uniform they wear, in order to continue to suppress and contain this virus without taking significant steps,” Mr Andrews said.
“If we were to fail to take those steps, then it won’t be a couple of hundred cases per cay, it will be many more than that and spiral well and truly out of control.
“We have to be realistic about the circumstances that we confront, we have to be clear with each other that this is not over and pretending that it is because we all want it to be over is not the answer. It is indeed part of the problem. A very big part of the problem. ”
Households in Melbourne will be banned from having visitors for the next six weeks, while outside gatherings, including exercise will be restricted to just two people.
Cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs will be forced to return to takeaway service only.
School holidays will also be extended by a week with the exception of students in years 11 and 12.
Premier Andrews says they are on the cusp of something very bad if they don’t take these actions.
“There is simply no alternative other than thousands and thousands of cases and potentially more, many, many people in hospital and the inevitable tragedy that will come from that.
“I think a sense of complacency has crept into us as we let our frustrations get the better of us.
“I think that each of us know someone who has not been following the rules as well as they should have.
“I think each of us know that we’ve got no choice but to take these very, very difficult steps.”