Victoria to enter snap seven-day lockdown

Essendon playing group

Schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children and children of authorised workers.

Professional sports events such as the weekend's AFL games in Melbourne will continue, but without crowds.

Senior cabinet ministers met late into last night and will reportedly announce the lockdown late this morning following a final meeting between key Victorian Government cabinet ministers.

Hipkins said the pause on travel would be kept under review. "This is our fourth lockdown, we know the drill", he said. One person is in intensive care on a ventilator.

More than 6,860 people have filled in the declaration form as of this afternoon (27 May) and one has been identified as a close contact and is in quarantine.

Dr Bloomfield has implemented new rules under the Health Act regarding anyone who was in Melbourne from 20-25 May.

The Victorian government has also announced it will extend its vaccine rollout and make the Pfizer jab available for people aged between 40 and 49 at state-run centres.

"We are considering whether further restrictions should be put in place".

The new cases were linked to the Whittlesea cluster in Melbourne's north, with more than 250 primary close contacts linked to over 70 exposure sites-from suburban Melbourne, to Bendigo and Cohuna in northern Victoria near the NSW border.

The federal government declared Melbourne a hot spot, which entitles the city to additional federal resources.

Victoria had not recorded any locally acquired coronavirus cases for about three months before the latest cases, which are believed to be linked to a traveler who returned from overseas and became infected while in hotel quarantine.

The man, in his 60s, could be the possible "source case" of the Whittlesea outbreak, although a definitive link is yet to be established.

New restrictions will be enforced in Greater Melbourne until at least June 4 in response to the growing outbreak.

Masks are mandatory everywhere, both indoors and outdoors, when not in your home.

There are now 23 active cases in the entire state, including people in hotel quarantine.

Speaking in Melbourne Thursday morning, Acting Premier James Merlino said a seven-day lockdown will begin at 11.59pm Thursday, in an attempt to limit the virus' spread through the community.

It is now extremely unlikely that Supercars teams will leave the state until the seven-day lockdown has been completed.

That lengthy lockdown had subjected Victorians to a "living hell", Liberal Democrats MP David Limbrick State told Victoria's Parliament in September 2020.

He said anybody who has been in a location of interest in Melbourne cannot travel to New Zealand for at least 14 days since visiting the location.

Victorians will be able to leave the home for just five reasons.

"If the pause for any reason were to continue, then we would look to other options, whether or not we would provide emergency travel for those who needed to get back immediately".

"Anyone who has travelled to New Zealand who has been in the greater Melbourne area since the 20th, last Thursday, is required to isolate, be tested and remain isolated until they receive the test result". That's in addition to those that travelled to NZ since the 11th of May.