Melburnians start stay-at-home lockdown -sharenews
Melburnians are back in stay-at-home lockdown for six weeks in a bid to contain a second wave of coronavirus cases in the state.
Residents in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, north of the city, can only leave their homes to get food and supplies, receive or provide care, exercise, and study or work.
Premier Daniel Andrews says it's crucial Melburnians don't breach the rules and head into regional Victoria, which is largely coronavirus free.
"We are doing the hard work to look at options to accelerate opening up in regional Victoria, that comes with significant economic benefit, for them and therefore the whole state," he said on Wednesday.
"That is only possible if we continue to safeguard the very low COVID or COVID-free status of large parts of regional and country Victoria."
Testing revealed infection protocol breaches by security guards working in hotel quarantine prompted the second wave of the virus in the state.
Victoria registered another 134 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, the second-highest daily total after a record 191 cases on Tuesday.
Of the state's fresh cases, just 11 were linked to known outbreaks while 123 were under investigation on Wednesday.
More than 850 cases remain active, an increase of nearly 800 in a month. Victoria has a total of 2942 COVID-19 cases.
Seven hundred police officers and 264 Australian Defence Force members will enforce the stage three lockdown, with booze bus-type checks in place.
"We're going to be checking people. We're going to be making sure they're adhering to those guidelines," Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said.
"If you don't have a reason to leave, you will be turned back around."
Police can issue on-the-spot fines of up to $1652 to individuals flouting the rules and slap businesses with a $9913 fine.
"We've done this before in restrictions we've been through. People know what to do. They know what to expect," Mr Patton said.
Police have done 92,215 random checks since March to ensure people were at home and businesses were abiding by the rules.
Meanwhile, cases linked to the nine public housing towers in Flemington and North Melbourne in hard lockdown slowed to two new infections on Wednesday, with the cluster now totalling 75.
Testing of all 3000 residents has been completed, the health department said in a statement.
One million Victorians have been tested for COVID-19 since the start of the year, with a record of 29,424 tests conducted on Tuesday.
Twenty-two people have died in Victoria from the virus.
© AAP 2020