Acting Victoria Premier James Merlino said this afternoon the state would go into lockdown from midnight tonight until 11.59pm on June 3, with only five reasons to leave the house.
There will be five permitted reasons to leave the home: shopping for essential goods within 5km of home, authorised work and education, caregiving, exercise with a two-hour limit, and trips to get vaccinated. Other retail stores can provide click and collect services.
Hotels, clubs, TABs and the casino will be closed, as well as indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, swimmings pools, spas, sauna, indoor and outdoor springs, community venues, drive-in cinemas, amusement parks and arcades.
Wedding can only go ahead if end of life or deportation reasons apply.
"Anyone who has travelled to New Zealand is required to isolate, be tested, and keep isolating until they receive a test result".
He says that number will continue to grow and the public health experts' primary concern is just how fast this variant is moving.
"The time between catching virus and passing it on is faster than ever".
"Unless something drastic happens, this will become increasingly uncontrollable", he said.
All of those cases are linked, Merlino said.
Vaccinations at state sites are being expanded to people aged over 40 from tomorrow.
A cluster first linked to a leak in the hotel quarantine system in neighbouring South Australia has now spread to 26 positive cases, while thousands of people have been identified as close contacts.
"If you are eligible to get vaccinated, make yourself a plan to do that today, to get it done", the state's health minister said.
Childcare and kinders will open as per the last circuit breaker lockdown earlier this year, while schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children and children of authorised workers.
The news that Melbourne could be plunged into its nation-leading fourth hard lockdown raises immediate comparisons with New South Wales, which has managed to successfully manage multiple virus outbreaks without lockdowns, while also taking in the majority of global arrivals.
Melbourne will reportedly head into a seven day hard lockdown this evening - the fourth lockdown since the COVID pandemic began.
It will be familiar territory for Melburnians, who were subject to Australia's longest-running COVID-19 lockdown past year when hundreds of cases were being recorded each day and residents were forced into their homes for a total of 112 days.
One of those is in intensive care on a ventilator.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield have provided an update on the travel bubble situation. The pause was formally reviewed today, about 48 hours after it was first put in place.