Premier Daniel Andrews vows to stop the spread of coronavirus to regional areas

Premier Daniel Andrews.
Premier Daniel Andrews.

Melbourne will be locked down from midnight Wednesday as Premier Daniel Andrews vows to prevent rising coronavirus cases in metropolitan areas reaching the regional Victoria.

The new restrictions came after it was revealed on Tuesday a Melbourne family of four who holidayed in Port Fairy last week had tested positive to the virus after returning home.

Mr Andrews said Melbourne-based residents were not to live in their holiday homes or exercise in regional areas under a return to strict stage three protocols after the state's new record of 191 cases in a single day.

"Regional Victoria has very, very few cases and vast parts of regional Victoria have no cases," he said.

"This is designed to keep it that way and I hope very soon to be able to be before you again talking about further easing of restrictions in regional Victoria. We'll only be able to achieve that if we contain metropolitan Melbourne and not see large outbreaks or additional cases in regional Victoria."

Moyne Shire council mayor Daniel Meade, who last month moved an urgent motion asking the Premier to ease restrictions in regional areas, welcomed the city lockdown

"With Melbourne in lockdown we would welcome this consideration of easing restrictions," Cr Meade said.

"There are certainly fewer cases in rural areas and the active cases in here have come from metropolitan Melbourne."

Cr Meade said Melbourne restrictions would impact south-west tourism operators and asked the community to support each other.

"I call on locals to support local," he said. "I'm not sure if anyone can be a winner in this situation and I understand that Melbourne is doing it tough. But hopefully rural Victorians will maintain COVID-safe practices and we can come out of this the other side."

This story New rules to save regional Victoria from metro virus spike first appeared on The Standard.