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Retail shops like Bunnings close as Melbourne enters stage four lockdown

Hairdressers, retail shops and call centres are among the industries to be temporarily closed

Cassidy Knowlton

Non-essential retail shops, call centres and hairdressers have all been forced to close as part of Melbourne's stage four restrictions, announced on August 3.

There has been no change to food retail, such as supermarkets, bottle shops, butchers and bakeries, and pharmacies, petrol stations, post offices and other shops that sell essential supplies will remain open. Premier Dan Andrews stressed that these shops would remain open throughout and there was no need to panic buy or stock up.

Retail stores such as Bunnings will be allowed to remain open for click and collect only, with many retail stores closed completely. 

"As heartbreaking as it is to close down places of employment, and as much as I never thought I would be telling people not to go to work, that's what we have to do," said Andrews.

These restrictions will come into place at midnight on Wednesday, August 5. 

Meatworks will reduce their production by one-third, and strict safety protocols will be brought in. "Those workers will be dressed as if they are health workers," the premier said. "It is a proportionate response to the risk that that industry poses." 

The restrictions on meatworks will come into place on Friday, August 7. Andrews conceded that might mean there would be less meat on the shelves but stressed that every Victorian would be able to buy what they needed, if not necessarily what they wanted. 

Restaurants and cafés can remain open for takeaway and delivery only. 

The changes come as Victoria announces 429 cases and 13 new deaths in the past 24 hours. There are 416 Victorians currently in hospital. 

Public transport remains operational and taxis and ride-share services will continue to operate, but they are only to service essential workers or people accessing permitted services, like medical care.

Andrews indicated there could be more restrictions for industries coming in the next few days. "There will be progressive announcements over the next few days in order to give people the clarity and certainty that they need," said Andrews.

No further changes have been introduced for regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire, which has been under stage three lockdown orders (no visitors, gyms, cinemas and leisure centres are closed, and you can only leave your house to work; receive or give care; exercise; or buy food and supplies). 

The restrictions are in addition to those announced on August 2, which restrict shopping trips and exercise to within 5km of a person's home within metro Melbourne. Only one person per household is permitted to go out shopping once per day, and daily exercise is limited to one hour per day, per person. Metropolitan Melbourne is also under a curfew from 8pm to 5am. The only reasons to be out of your home during that time are if you are travelling to or from work, if you are seeking medical care or if you are providing or receiving urgent care. 

Masks or face coverings are mandatory throughout Victoria. Here's where to buy them, or you can make your own. All schools are closed throughout Victoria, with students learning remotely. 

These restrictions and business closures will remain in place for six weeks, and the premier has declared a 'state of disaster' across the state.

For further clarification on these restrictions, please contact the Department of Health and Human Services here.

How far can you go from your home? Here's an interactive map to help you find a 5km radius. Need help parsing the restrictions? Here's what you can and can't do in Victoria right now.

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