By TOM GANNON and ZAC STANDISH
THE entire state of Victoria will enter a snap five-day lockdown from 11:59pm tonight to help stop the spread of the recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Premier Dan Andrews made the announcement during a press conference this afternoon.
Victorians will now have only five reasons to leave home;
Food and supplies. Authorised work. Care and caregiving. Exercise, which is permitted for two hours per day and up to 5km from home. And getting vaccinated.
A 5km travel bubble will apply.
Schools will be closed with students returning to remote-learning.
“Our message to school is we hope we can have them back by Wednesday, if we can get senior schools back earlier that is something we can address,” he said.
The Premier told media this lockdown will follow the same structure as the last one and those who were able to work during that period can continue to do so.
“This will be a hard lockdown identical to what we did a couple of weeks ago, if you were authorised to work then, you are authorised to work now, if you were authorised to open then, you are authorised to open now,” he said.
“This is essentially a repeat of what the successful strategy we undertook three weeks ago.”
There have been two new cases recorded with a total of 75 exposure sites since Victoria’s COVID commander Jeroen Weimar spoke to media earlier this morning.
Mr Andrews kept his message to Victorians short and sharp.
“My message for Victorians is clear, we have no choice, we have to do this otherwise this will get away from us, hard and fast we only get one chance and that is the advice that I have provided to me,”
“Don’t go to work, don’t go to a friend’s house, don’t go anywhere other than a testing place.”
Changes to Victoria’s mask rules were also re-introduced overnight with masks now mandatory in indoor settings.
Victoria’s COVID commander Jeroen Weimar said in an earlier press conference the extent of the outbreak was still unclear.
“It’s this next 24 to 48 hours that is a critical period to see if this is a wave that’s standing up on us or if we are crossing over the top and running it into the ground, right now I don’t have that information,” he told media.