Victoria plunged into lockdown 6.0

Further freedoms: Premier Dan Andrews announced further openings at today's press conference. file photograph

Zac Standish and Liam Durkin

VICTORIANS will once again be forced into stay at home orders after the state government announced a snap seven day lockdown set to begin at 8pm tonight.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the news of this sixth lockdown at a press conference this afternoon.

“No Victorian wants to be in this position. We know that the Delta variant moves faster than anything our public health experts have seen before – and we know what we need to do to drive it down once again,” Mr Andrews said.

“I want to make it very clear, we only get one chance to make difficult decisions that are the right decision.”

As of 8pm Victorians will only have five reasons to leave home.

These include shopping for food and supplies, essential work, care and caregiving, exercise, which is permitted for two hours per day and up to five kilometre from home, and getting vaccinated.

A five kilometre travel bubble will apply throughout all of Victoria.

Schools will be closed with students returning to remote-learning, except for vulnerable children, and the children of authorised workers who can learn on site, while Childcare and Early Learning Centres will remain open.

Face masks will remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors unless an exception applies – this includes all workplaces and secondary schools.

The restrictions will mirror those Victorians experienced in the recent lockdowns in June and July.

“They are essentially the rules from last time. They are painful, we wish it wasn’t this way. With so few in the community with one vaccination I literally have no choice but to make this difficult decision,” he said.

Mr Andrews said he will do all he can to avoid another long term lockdown, such as the one currently occurring in New South Wales.

“My fear is that if we wait a few days, there is every chance that instead of being locked down for a week we will be locked down until we all get vaccinated,” he said.

“The rules are there to keep us open, if we don’t make difficult decisions, each day it gets worse rather than better.

“I believe we have every chance of being open between now and when 80 per cent of people have had the jab.”

This comes little over a week after lockdown 5.0 restrictions were eased, with the state recording eight new cases today, with five of them said to be infectious while in the community.

Victoria did announce for the first time since the previous lockdown a “doughnut day” yesteday, before it was later announced in the evening a teacher at the Al-Taqwa College in Truganina tested positive to the virus.