Victoria has recorded a further 134 new cases of coronavirus as millions of Melbourne residents prepare to go back into lockdown for six weeks.
Victoria’s total number of cases has climbed to 2942 with 860 of those currently active.
There are now 41 people being treated in hospitals across the state, with seven of those in intensive care.
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Of the new cases recorded overnight, 11 are linked to known outbreaks while 123 others are still under investigation.
The number of cases involving residents in locked down public housing towers has risen to 75.
All of metropolitan Melbourne along with the Mitchell Shire to the city’s north will return to Stage 3 restrictions from midnight on Wednesday.
Residents will be prevented from leaving their home except for work or study, essential shopping, exercise, medical care or to provide care to a relative.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says they have no other choice.
“We are all working as hard as we can, doing the very best that we can and we know that we’re asking a lot of Victorians and we know, of course, that we didn’t want to be in the position that we are in,” Mr Andrews
“But that’s the reality that we confront. This is the challenge that we have to meet and I think that if we all work together over these next six weeks, as painful and frustrating and difficult as that will be, we will be able to to the other side of this stay-at-home period.”
More than 260 ADF personnel will be on hand in Victoria to help Police enforce the latest lockdown.
Police Minister Lisa Neville says Melbourne will effectively have a border around it that will be enforced.
“So for those who want to blatantly and obviously and deliberately breach these directives of the Chief Health Officer, police will be there,” Ms Neville said.
“Whether you’re breaking your quarantine at home, whether you’re having parties, whether you’re having people over to your place or whether it’s about you trying to, for no good reason, go to regional Victoria, police will be there.”
Premier Andrews has apologised for the inconvenience but has urged Victorians to be patient and do the right thing.
“I think every Victorian knows and understands this is real, serious, it’s not over. Pretending that it is will simply make a difficult situation into tragic set of circumstances.
“It’s not where we wanted to be, but we can’t go back. We can’t change those things that have got us to this point. We can only respond appropriately and that involves everyone following the rules because they are rules that are there for everyone. “