Victoria will enter Stage 4 restrictions tonight

Staff writers

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced Victoria will enter Stage 4 restrictions at 11.59pm tonight.

The restrictions will be in place until Wednesday, February 17 and apply for the entire state.

There are only four reasons to leave your home; shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving and work or study – if you can’t do it from home and exercise for two hours per day.

This comes after Victoria recorded five new cases of coronavirus on Friday, they are all linked to the Holiday Inn cluster, lifting the total to 13 cases.

As of 11.59pm tonight, exercise and shopping will be limited to five kilometres from home.

If there’s no shops in your five-kilometre radius, people can travel to the ones closest to you.

Face masks will need to be worn indoors and outdoors – whenever people leave home.

People can’t have visitors to their home, and public gatherings won’t be able to go ahead.

School students will return to learning from home, unless they need onsite supervision as the children of essential workers.

Universities and TAFEs will close or move to remote learning.

Childcare and kindergartens will remain open.

Gyms, pools, community centres, entertainment venues and libraries will all need to close.

All non-essential retail will close, but essential stores like supermarkets, bottle shops and pharmacies will remain open.

Cafes and restaurants will only be able to offer takeaway.

Hotel and accommodation providers will be able to stay open to support guests already staying onsite. No new bookings can be made.

Funerals will be able to go ahead with up to ten people.

Mr Andrews said we must assume that there are other cases in the community that we do not know of.

“Victorians will be well familiar with UK strain… it is so hyper-infectious and fast,” he said.

“The way in which they (people with this strain) are presenting is a significant concern to us… we are having cases test positive in rapid time, by the time we find that case as positive they have already infected their close contacts.

“I know it’s not the place that we wanted to be in.

“However, we’ve all given so much, we’ve all done so much. We’ve built something precious, and we have to make difficult decisions, and do difficult things, in order to defend what we’ve built.

“I am confident that this short, sharp circuit breaker will be effective. We will be able to smother this. We will be able to prevent it getting away from us.”

Sporting associations moved quickly with the Latrobe Valley District Cricket League and Traralgon District Cricket Association competitions cancelling weekend matches.

West Gippsland Bowls is also off with Weekend Pennant and Midweek Pennant matches (set to be played on Tuesday, February 16) postponed.

Country Racing Victoria said all country race days, including Sunday’s Moe meeting, will continue with only competing participants, essential staff and officials permitted to attend.