Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has today announced a 5-day lockdown from midnight on Friday in an attempt to quash the recent COVID outbreak from the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel.

After much speculation on Friday, Andrews addressed the press shortly after 1pm to give an update on the situation.

I am sad to have to report, it is the advice to me that we must assume that there are further cases in the community than we have positive results for, and that it is moving at a velocity that has not been seen anywhere in our country over the course of these last 12 months,” Andrews said.

From 11:59pm on Friday night, the entire state of Victoria will go into Stage 4 restrictions, both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The state will remain in a lockdown until 11:59pm on Wednesday at the earliest.

As always, there will only be four reasons to leave the home. You know, the normal stuff we did throughout all of last year: shopping, exercise, caregiving and essential work.

Victorians will also be required to stay within 5km of their home, with private gatherings restricted entirely.

Schools will close, but will remain open for those who cannot remain home due to essential work.

As expected, hairdressers, beauty services, indoor sporting venues, entertainment venues and non-essential retail will all be closed, while hospitality will move to takeaway only.

Andrews asserted that the speed that the virus is spreading is a cause for the lockdown.

We are having cases test positive – and we, in rapid time we get notified of that positive test result – by the time we find that case as positive, they’ve already infected their close contacts. Their family. People they live with, people they’ve spent time with,” he said. 

“That makes it incredibly difficult, incredibly difficult. — difficult to do contact tracing, because there is no gap, if you like, between when we have the first case and their close contacts and potentially others that they have spent time with.”

The news comes after the state recorded five new cases of the virus overnight.

Image: Getty Images / Darrian Traynor