Victoria will enter its sixth lockdown from 8pm tonight for one week, just over one week after the fifth lockdown ended.
The lockdown is in response to a growing cluster in Melbourne’s west, which has grown to eight people, five of which have unknown sources and have been infectious in the community.
The five reasons to leave home will be reinstated and rules will remain the same as the last lockdown. Shopping for essentials and exercising must be within five kilometres of home. Schools will be closed, and those not permitted to go to work during the last lockdown will have the same restrictions applied to them.
Anyone eligible for a vaccine is permitted to leave their five-kilometre radius to do so, and is urged to make an appointment or go to a walk-in clinic.
Private gatherings are not permitted except for an intimate partner or nominated person visits. Public gatherings are not permitted. Exercise is limited to two people.
Childcare and early childhood care will remain open. Schools will close, with primary and secondary school students returning to remote learning – except for vulnerable children, and the children of authorised workers who can learn on site.
Premier Daniel Andrews said with the Wangaratta wastewater detection and the potential that regional Victorians had been exposed to COVID-19 linked to the current outbreak, restrictions would apply state-wide.
Mr Andrews said he had ‘no choice’ but to lock down the state to avoid a situation similar to Sydney.
“I literally have no choice but to accept the advice,” he said.
“The alternative is we let this run, it gets away from us, and our hospitals get overrun.”
Mr Andrews said there are likely 10,000 contacts of the positive cases across 75 exposure sites on a growing list.
He said with so little flu around, if people had any symptoms at all, they must get a COVID-19 test.
“If you’ve got symptoms, you’ve got COVID, that’s what we have to assume, so you have to go and get tested,” he said.