From midnight, more than 300,000 residents will be forced into lockdown with a public health order taking effect in the city’s north and north-west.
Police will be patrolling the soon-to-be-sealed-off areas with checkpoints to screen those coming in and out. Those without a good reason will be issued with a fine.
People living outside the 10 hotspot postcodes have also been ordered to stay away.
It comes after a further 64 new cases were identified across Victoria yesterday, with nearly 250 new diagnoses since Thursday.
The surge has prompted the Victorian premier to launch a judicial inquiry into the state’s hotel quarantine regime, with the disturbing revelation that almost 50 of the new COVID-19 cases have come from hotel staff who breached infection control protocols.
It’s believed the hotel employees caught the virus and brought it home with them, which started the community transmission.
The findings from the inquiry are due to be handed down in 10 weeks.
Correctional staff will now have the task of managing the hotel quarantine system.
Mr Andrews said the city could no longer accept the additional risk of housing potentially infected people.
The bulk of the diverted flights land in Sydney.
Other states are now strengthening their borders to contain Victoria’s infections.
“Due to the current community transmission levels, the border with Victoria will remain closed and will be strengthened,” premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“Anyone who has travelled from Victoria, including Queenslanders, will be prevented from entering or will have to quarantine at a hotel at their own expense for two weeks.”
Tougher measures against anyone who has travelled to Victoria will also come into effect this Friday.
The fine for lying or providing false information is a hefty $4000.
New South Wales has banned any visits from people who have been through the hotspots while Victorians are also prohibited from visiting South Australia.
That state has scrapped its July 20 reopening plan, rethinking opening to the NSW and ACT too.
The travel bans have thrown the holiday plans for thousands of Victorians into disarray.
Those who live in any of the lockdown suburbs must cancel their plans if they haven’t already left.
For those who have already gone on holidays, they are allowed to stay away until due home.