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Back in lockdown

VICTORIA will head into a five-day hard lockdown from 11.59pm tonight after health concerns were raised over a hotel quarantine outbreak.

The lockdown will mean from today until 11.59pm Wednesday there will be only four reasons to leave home; shopping for essential supplies, care and caregiving, exercise, and essential work.

Premier, Daniel Andrews announced Victorians must stay within five kilometres of their homes other than for permitted work, or if you need to go shopping for “things you need when you need them”.

“It is so hyper-infectious, and moves so fast, that it is presenting a very, very real challenge to our status, our stay-safe, stay-open, our precious thing that we've built - all of us - throughout 2020,” he said.

“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.”

Schools will close but will remain available for vulnerable children or for the children of those who are permitted to go to work, those who can't work from home.

Child care and early childhood centres will remain open however higher education is closed during this period.

Religious gatherings and ceremonies are not permitted.

Funerals can involve no more than 10 people indoor or outdoor, and weddings are not permitted unless on compassionate grounds.

Services closed include hairdressing and beauty services; real estate auctions and inspections; indoor physical recreation and sport venues; outdoor physical recreation, and community sport (other than outdoor playgrounds which, will remain open); swimming pools; libraries (unless they are hosting an essential public support service); creative studios; entertainment venues; and non-essential retail.

Hospitality will move to takeaway only.

No visitors will be permitted into homes as all public gatherings are banned.

Mr Andrews also confirmed on Friday afternoon that masks would be worn everywhere in Victoria other than in your home.

Victoria recorded five new COVID-19 cases on today, all of which were connected to the Holiday Inn outbreak.

The new cases included a female assistant manager and four close contacts of people who earlier tested positive to COVID-19.

Today's positive results were all confirmed to have the more virulent UK strain of the virus and the “working assumption” is all people linked to the Holiday Inn cluster have the same B117 strain.

All of the locally acquired cases were linked to the outbreak, with workers from the hotel and their close contacts confirmed to have contracted the virus.

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