Sweeping new restrictions, including a night-time curfew, have been imposed across Melbourne under stage four restrictions and regional Victoria will move to stage three restrictions from Thursday.
Premier Daniel Andrews said 671 new coronavirus cases had been detected since Saturday, with 6,322 infections now active in the state.
Seven people have died from coronavirus in Victoria in the last 24 hours, taking the state’s death toll to 123. Six of the seven cases are linked to aged care outbreaks.
There are now 385 people in Victorian hospitals, 38 of whom are in intensive care.
The state’s aged care outbreak has now grown to 1,083 active cases.
The Premier said there was an “unacceptably high” number of community transmission cases, and the state had 760 active COVID-19 infections where the source of the transmission was not known.
“Those mysteries, that community transmission, is in many respects our biggest challenge and the reason why we need to move to a different set of rules,” he said.
From 6:00pm Sunday, a state of disaster has been declared across Victoria, which will act in addition to the state of emergency.
Further restrictions targeting workplaces will be announced on Monday.
Residents of Metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire are almost halfway through what was meant to be a six-week lockdown under stage three stay-at-home orders.
Mr Andrews said the current strategy undertaken by the Government so far had avoided “thousands of thousands” of cases from overwhelming hospitals, but it was “not working fast enough”.
He said after much detailed analysis, the state’s health experts told him the current strategy would not see the state reach a point where it could reopen until the end of the year.
“Therefore we have to do more and we have to do more right now,” he said.
Curfew and limits on exercising, shopping for Melbourne
An evening curfew will be implemented across Melbourne from 8:00pm to 5:00am every day, which started Sunday night, forbidding anyone from leaving the home except for working, receiving or giving care, or visiting their partner.
Under the stage four restrictions, Melbourne residents will only be allowed to shop and exercise within 5 kilometres of their homes.
Supermarkets will remain open but only one person from each household will be able to shop at a time, once a day.
“I want to assure all Victorians supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there,” he said.