Victoria has reported 73 new daily cases of coronavirus as it battles a second wave of the deadly disease.
The figure, up from the 64 reported on Tuesday, means the state has recorded 212 cases in the past three days.
Around 300,000 Melbourne residents from 10 postcodes have been ordered back into lockdown from Thursday to slow the spread.
Premier Daniel Andrews today announced twelve new mobile testing sites have been set up in the 36 locked down suburbs.
‘As of last night we had knocked on some 54,000 doors in those high-risk suburbs and post-codes offering advice, testing information and in some cases the self-administering test kits,’ he said.
Mr Andrews said the lockdown was ‘painful’ but said it was better than shutting down the whole state.
‘Ultimately, if I didn’t shut down those postcodes I’d be shutting down all postcodes and I don’t think we want to get to that point,’ he said.
Mr Andrews said the new case figures were ‘somewhat pleasing’ because they are consistent rather than doubling every day.
This map shows the suburbs which will be subject to stay-at-home orders from Wednesday at 11.59pm after a spike in coronavirus cases
Guests at the Stamford Hotel in Melbourne are seen wearing masks as they get into taxis on June 25
After just four weeks of freedom, thousands of residents will be banned from leaving their homes except for work and school, food shopping, giving care and daily exercise.
Restaurants, gyms, pubs and all other non-essential services in the suburbs must once again close their doors. Affected businesses will be compensated with a government cash grant of $5,000.
Residents from the ten postcodes will not be allowed to go on holiday and the government will announce a support package for affected tourism businesses.
The lockdown will last for four weeks and come into force from 11.59pm on Wednesday. Police will be enforcing the orders with random vehicle checks similar to random breath tests and will dish out on-the-spot fines.
Premier Daniel Andrews said the lockdown was ‘deeply painful’ and ‘damaging for businesses’ but insisted that it was necessary.
‘If we don’t take these steps now we will be locking down every postcode,’ he said.
The curve in Victoria has skyrocketed over the past couple of weeks as coronavirus infections continue to grow from within the suburbs of Melbourne
Which 36 suburbs are being locked down again?
3012 – Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray
3021 – Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
3032 – Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
3038 – Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
3042 – Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
3046 – Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
3047 – Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
3055 – Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
3060 – Fawkner
3064 – Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo
In a new testing blitz across the hotspot suburbs, officials will be knocking on doors and offering people on-the-spot swabs.
‘Please, on behalf of every Victorian family, if you, or a family member, get a knock on the door and the offer of a test, please say yes,’ Mr Andrews said.
During a testing blitz over the weekend, 928 people refused to get tested in Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs alone.
Mr Andrews has also asked the Prime Minister to divert all international flights away from Melbourne for two weeks so the city does not have to quarantine returned travellers.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed Victoria was suffering a second wave after recording zero cases on 5 June.
‘The virus seems to have been snuffed out in early June. There is no evidence of any original virus from February, March, around currently,’ he said.
Military personnel are seen conducting testing at the new mobile testing site in Melbourne