From 11.59pm on May 27, Victoria is re-entering a stage four lockdown. From that time, there will be five reasons to leave your home: shopping; authorised work or education; exercise for up to two hours a day with up to one other person; caregiving, compassionate and medical reasons; and to get vaccinated. Those who leave the home for shopping or exercise must stay within 5km of home, and masks are mandatory everywhere, outside and inside.
Restaurants, pubs and cafés can provide takeaway only. Essential retail stores (such as pharmacies and supermarkets) remain open, and other retail outlets can do click and collect only. Community sports, indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, cultural venues, libraries, community centres and other non-essential services will be closed until Friday next week.
The lockdown means Melbourne's much-anticipated Rising Festival will not be going ahead as planned, with in-person events due to happen this week likely to be either postponed or cancelled.
There are more than 10,000 close contacts of current cases who need to get tested and isolate and more than 150 exposure sites.
"This time between catching the virus and passing it on is faster than ever," said acting premier James Merlino, who elaborated some cases were transmitting the virus within a day of acquiring it. He and health minister Martin Foley urged everyone eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Those over 50 are currently eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine, and from May 28, those between 40 and 49 will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine at state sites.
"If more people were vaccinated, we might be facing a very different set of circumstances, but sadly we are not," said Merlino. "If we wait too long, this thing will get away from us."