Victorians will wake on Friday to their first day of new rules under a seven-day lockdown aimed at stamping out a growing coronavirus cluster in Melbourne.
The new measures came into effect at midnight, and will apply to the whole state.
It comes after the state’s outbreak reached 26 cases by Thursday morning, including one person who is in ICU on a ventilator.
As a result, Victorians will only be allowed to leave their homes for five reasons until at least June 3.
Here’s what you need to know.
Victoria’s lockdown reasoning
Acting Premier James Merlino announced the snap lockdown after a morning of speculation as the coronavirus cluster that started in Melbourne’s north rose to 26 cases and spread across the city and into regional areas.
Twelve more COVID infections were confirmed on Thursday (including one already announced on Wednesday).
“In the past day, we have seen 12 linked new cases, bringing the total number of cases linked to the hotel quarantine breach in South Australia to 26. Sadly, we have one of those people in an ICU, on a ventilator, in not a very good way,” Mr Merlino said.
“We’ve seen more evidence we’re dealing with a highly infectious strain of the virus, a variant of concern, which is running faster than we have ever recorded.”
There are also at least 10,000 primary and secondary contacts, who will need to be tested and self-isolate.
“Our contact tracers are identifying and locking down the first ring, second ring, and third ring within 24 hours. They have never done that before,” he said.
“But despite working as fast as this … this variant is moving faster still.”
Mr Merlino said the virus had been transmitted in less than a day in some cases, compared to five to six days for previous variants.
“If we make the wrong choice now, if we wait too long, this thing will get away from us,” he said.