- Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will re-enter stage three lockdowns from midnight on Wednesday night for six weeks.
- The stay-at-home order means people should not leave their homes except for four reasons: essential shopping, giving or receiving medical care, attending work if it cannot be done at home, and exercise.
- The announcement followed news the NSW-Victoria border would close from midnight on Tuesday night.
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Melbourne will re-enter stage three lockdown for six weeks from midnight on Wednesday night, as coronavirus case numbers continue to spike in Victoria.
"The public health team have advised me to reimpose stage 3 stay-at-home restrictions – staying at home except for the four reasons to leave – effective from midnight tomorrow night for a period of six weeks," said Premier Daniel Andrews at a press conference on Tuesday night.
The four reasons people can leave their homes are for essential shopping, giving or receiving medical care, attending work if it cannot be done at home, and for exercise. Andrews stressed that people leaving the home for exercise cannot leave metropolitan Melbourne.
The new restrictions apply to both metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in regional Victoria, where Andrews said there is also an "unsustainably high number of cases" of COVID-19.
"We have to be realistic about the circumstances that we confront," Andrews said. "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."
As with the previous lockdown, cafes, restaurants and bars will be allowed to open only for takeaway sales. Businesses like supermarkets, retailers and hairdressers can remain open, as long as they abide by density restrictions.
On Tuesday, Victoria recorded 191 new cases of COVID-19, the highest single-day increase since the beginning of the pandemic. Of that number, only 37 were linked back to known outbreaks, and none are associated with hotel quarantine.
The last week has seen a dramatic escalation of the coronavirus situation in Victoria.
On June 30, the Victorian government imposed lockdowns on 10 Melbourne postcodes – later expanded to 12 – due to “unacceptably high” levels of community transmission. Residents in those postcodes are only permitted to leave their homes for work, to provide care, to get exercise or to buy groceries.
On Saturday, the Victorian government announced some 3,000 people residing in nine public housing towers in Melbourne would be subject to a 'hard lockdown' for at least five days – meaning they cannot leave the premises for any reason. At least 500 police officers are assigned to the towers per shift.
In Tuesday's press conference, Premier Andrews announced that once testing had concluded in the towers, residents would be subject to the less strict rules that apply to the rest of Melbourne.
"The strategy here is to complete the testing and then as soon as possible, once that testing is complete, to have those nine towers moved to the same footing that the rest of Melbourne will move to at 11:59pm tomorrow night," Andrews said.
On Monday, it was announced the New South Wales-Victoria border would close from midnight on Tuesday, July 7.
“Today and tomorrow is the last time in which any Victorians will be allowed across the border unless they have a special permit or some exemption,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at a press conference on Monday.