Panic buying in Victoria as entire state prepares for lockdown

Lockdown looms as Victoria stuffs up contract tracing again

Hipkins said authorities will be attempting to contact people who have travelled to New Zealand from Melbourne since the 20th.

People can only leave home for emergency reasons, to get food or to get vaccinated.

Melbourne will reportedly head into a seven day hard lockdown this evening - the fourth lockdown since the COVID pandemic began. For shopping and exercise, he says you must stay within five kilometres of your home.

Schools will move to remote learning, excluding vulnerable children and the children of authorised workers.

Hotels, clubs, casinos, community venues and pools are closed.

Visits will not be allowed at aged care facilities except for limited reasons, and hospital visits will only be permitted for end of life reasons, to support a partner during birth, or for a parent accompanying a child.

Weddings can not proceed unless end of life matters apply and only with limited numbers.

"Our public health experts' primary concern is how fast this variant is moving".

"If we make the wrong choice now, if we wait too long, this thing will get away from us", Merlino said.

The virus has leaked out 17 times in six months, according to the federal opposition Labor party, which has slammed the conservative government for refusing to overhaul the system.

Those travellers must self-isolate at their usual place of residence or accommodation, and contact Healthline to advise they are a close or casual contact of a Covid-19 case in Melbourne.

"Unless something happens this will become increasingly uncontrollable". All of them have been linked to a breach in hotel quarantine from South Australia.

This afternoon, Victorian government announced the state would go into lockdown for a week to contain a growing Covid-19 outbreak in Melbourne.

The club was notified by the AFL late last night of the decision to leave for Perth this morning, with the Bombers now scheduled to face the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium on Saturday night.

Australia has recorded about 30,000 Covid-19 cases to date - the vast majority in Victoria during last year's devastating second wave.

One of those cases is on a ventilator in an intensive care unit, he added.

More than 40,000 test results were received overnight, with the state's active cases now sitting at 34.

New Zealand has already suspended its travel bubble with Victoria and while residents are now being shut out of other Australian states, prompting major airlines to slash Melbourne services. The pause was formally reviewed today, about 48 hours after it was first put in place.

Government officials in met late into Wednesday night to debate the state's next move, with reports further meetings are being held this morning to nail down details of the lockdown.

The list of exposure sites has grown to 79 locations, including the Port Melbourne headquarters of Stratton Finance, Duke Gym in Abbotsford, and Anytime Fitness in Bundoora.

Melbourne brought back a number of strict restrictions in response to the outbreak.

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