Lockdown extended across greater Melbourne

NSW and Victoria border closure

THE Melbourne metropolitan area and Mitchell Shire will return to stage three “stay at home” restrictions from midnight Wednesday.

On Tuesday, 191 new cases of coronavirus were recorded across Victoria.

Victoria has recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus since Monday, with the total number of cases now at 2824. The overall total has increased by 164, after 27 cases were reclassified – largely due to duplication.

There have been no deaths reported since Monday. To date, 22 people have died from coronavirus in Victoria.

There are 772 active cases in Victoria, with 35 cases in hospital, including nine in intensive care.

For the next six weeks, people living in these areas will have only four reasons to leave their homes: shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise, or work and study.

Businesses in the affected areas will also return to stage three restrictions. Restaurants and cafes will return to takeaway only, beauty and personal services and entertainment and cultural venues will need to close, and community sport will need to stop.

Year 11 and 12 and special school students in these areas will go back to school for term three next week as planned. The school holidays for the other students in these areas will be extended by a week.

Premier Daniel Andrews said current restrictions would remain in place across regional Victoria, were case numbers remain low.

“We’ve talked about this virus being like a public health bushfire. By putting a ring around metropolitan Melbourne, we’re essentially putting in place a perimeter to protect regional Victoria,” he said.

“This is not where any of us wanted to be, but we have to face the reality of our situation. To do anything else would have deadly consequences.

“I don’t take this step lightly. And I know just how deeply frustrating this is for everyone.

“But I’m asking you, please talk for your families. Talk for your friends. Talk to your neighbours. Talk to your communities.

“This isn’t over. And until there is a vaccine or a drug or a cure, there is no such thing as ‘normal’.

“For every restriction that you break and all the health advice that you ignore – the consequences may be someone’s life.

“Now more than ever, we need Victorians to play their part. Lives are counting on it.”