Childcare centres and kindergartens remain open, but schools closed, creating confusion during the snap five-day lockdown.

VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Friday a state-wide five-day lockdown after five new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the preceding 24 hours. 

Stage four restrictions were reinstated in the snap lockdown, until 11.59pm Wednesday, as ‘circut-breaker’ action to prevent the spread of the highly-infectious UK variant of the virus.

In line with Victoria’s previous stage four restrictions, there are now only four reasons to leave home: shopping for the things people need, care and caregiving, exercise for two hours per day, and work, if it is essential. Exercise and shopping are limited to within a five-kilometre radius of people’s homes, and not home visits are permitted.

Face masks must be worn everywhere outside the home. 

Schools across the state are now closed, except to students of essential workers, but kindergartens and childcare remains open. 

A spokesperson for Goodstart Jindi Kindergarten in Mernda said on Monday they were at half capacity with many parents keeping children home. 

“They’re confused. They don’t understand [why] schools are closed but we’re open,” they said. 

Owner of Olivia’s Cafe in Whittlesea, Kellie Tomarchio, said the impacts of lockdowns were wide-reaching across many industries, with so much going on behind the scenes.

“All the staff aren’t working, we did waste a fair bit of food, and our takings today [Monday] are already down 65 per cent on the same time last week, so it’s a big hit and it’s very out of our control so it’s hard to pivot with such short notice,” she said.

“We did manage to cancel a couple of our orders, but that’s also not fair on that business that didn’t get our business, and then their driver doesn’t come to work … that flow-on effect is so much more wide-reaching than you realise.”

Mr Andrews yesterday said Victoria was ‘well-placed’ after a small number of positive tests over the weekend, but said it was too early to say the lockdown would lift by Thursday. 

Other changes to essential services have been made within the City of Whittlesea and will remain until the State Government makes further announcements.

All public events, including sports, and private gatherings like weddings, must be postponed.

Maternal and child health services appointments have moved to phone calls only, via 9404 8888. 

Immunisations will continue; all bookings for public sessions are now done online. 

Home support services in aged and disability care will continue and delivered meals are continuing as normal. 

City of Whittlesea waste services will not be accepting residence vouchers on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Hansons Landfill remain open and will continue to accept resident vouchers. All curbside waste collections services will continue as normal.

For information about restrictions, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or phone 1800 675 398.