Victoria is set to re-enter a lockdown from midnight tonight.
The news was announced by Premier Daniel Andrews at at press conference this afternoon, with the city entering a five day snap stage four lockdown. The lockdown will officially start from 11.59pm tonight and run through to 11:59pm on Wednesday, 17 February.
Restrictions will revert to the 'four reasons to leave home' system that was in place last year, meaning Victorians can only leave their homes for essential supplies, care and caregiving and exercise and essential work.
Masks must again be worn in all settings outside the home, and Victorians must remain within 5km of home for their shopping and exercise activities.
The lockdown is based on the entrance of the 'UK strain' of the COVID-19 virus into the community.
"I won’t waste words: today hurts. Victorians know, better than anyone, just how deeply," said Andrews in a statement today. "But as we’ve seen – here in Australia and around the world – we are facing a new kind of enemy.
"A virus that is smarter, and faster, and more infectious. And until we have a vaccine, we need to do everything we can to keep this virus at bay..."
"It’s why on the advice of our public health experts, the whole of Victoria will move to circuit-breaker action from 11:59pm tonight until 11:59pm on Wednesday, 17 February. This is a short, sharp blast – the same as we’ve seen in Queensland and WA – that will give us the what we need to get ahead of this faster moving virus."
The new restrictions will affect live music events this weekend with no public gatherings allowed, with Victorian gigs ceing cancelled or postponed this afternoon:
- Melbourne Music Week shows have been postponed
- Cherry Bar and Corner Hotel have called off all gigs including tonight
- Barwon Club in Geelong will go ahead with tonight's Beans gig
- Sarah Mary Chadwick intends to go ahead with her show at Avalon tonight, however Jess Locke's gig at Volta in Ballarat has been postponed
- Thornbury Theatre has called off tonight's Skyscraper Dan performance
- The Old Bar has pushed forward tonight's The Maggie Pills show by one hour, then will close at 11pm
- Holy Holy have postponed their show at The Forum tonight
- The Gasometer will be closed from today through to next Thursday
- The Rock The Bowl concert at Sidney Myer Music Bowl featuring Daryl Braithwaite will go ahead tonight and finish at 10pm. Those who do not wish to attend can seek a refund from point of purchase
Additional cancellations are expected throughout the day.