Stage three COVID-19 restrictions will be reinstated across Mitchell Shire and metropolitan Melbourne from Thursday for six weeks.
Making the announcement, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the only four reasons for leaving your home were shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise and work and study – if you can’t do it from home.
“Otherwise: Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. In case it needs repeating, stay home. We are fighting a global and deadly pandemic,” Premier Andrews said.
“This stay at home direction will apply to your principal place of residence – that means no escaping to holiday homes.
“I know a lot of people aren't scared because this feels like something happening to other people in other parts of the world. But you should be scared of this. I’m scared of this. We all should be.”
Businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will also return to stage three restrictions.
Restaurants and cafes will return to takeaway and delivery services only. Beauty and personal services will need to close. Entertainment and cultural venues will need to close. Community sport will need to stop.
“I know just how tough this will be for these businesses and for their workers. I promise, we’ll have more to say shortly about support to help get you through,” Premier Andrews said.
“I also understand six weeks might feel like an eternity. But it’s the time our health experts tell us they need to really get on top of this thing.”
All year 11 and year 12 students in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will go back to school for term three as planned, along with special schools.
“For students in prep to year 10, we’re going to extend the school holidays by one week, so we can get more advice from our health experts,” Premier Andrews said.
“But I want to be upfront and let parents know that a return to remote learning for these kids is a possibility, if that’s what they tell us is safest.
“For people who live in regional Victoria, where case numbers remain low, current restrictions will remain the same for now.
“We’ve talked about this virus being like a public health bushfire. By putting a ring around metropolitan Melbourne, we’re essentially putting in place a perimeter to protect regional Victorians.
“This is not where any of us wanted to be, but we have to face the reality of our situation. To do anything else would have deadly consequences.”
For more information, visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus