Non-essential activity including schools and business across Victoria will be shut down by Tuesday to combat the spread of coronavirus with some businesses now ordered to close their doors by midday Monday.
After Sunday night's meeting of the state heads, the Prime Minster Scott Morrison ordered clubs and pubs, cinemas and gyms shut down by noon Monday with cafes and restaurants limited to takeaway only.
When questioned by reporters on other services, the Prime Minister responded they were targeting any venue where social gathering was taking place to ensure the message of social distancing was being enforced.
The Prime Minster warned the closures could be in place for six months.
Mr Morrison said the step had to be taken because Australians were not adequately sticking to rules around social distancing and the virus was continuing to spread.
"We cannot have the confidence as a group of leaders that the social distancing guidelines and rules that we have put in place won't be followed to the level of compliance that we require to flatten the curve and slow the spread and save lives."
Mr Morrison said parents were reassured schools would reopen after the Easter holidays, based on current medical advice.
Freight, logistics and home delivery are also considered essential and will remain operating, meaning the supply chain will keep working and there is no need for any panic buying.
Other retail still has the opportunity to operate online.
It is not known if public transport or worksites will be affected by the new tough rules.
"This is not something that we do lightly, but it's clear that if we don't take this step, more Victorians will contract coronavirus, our hospitals will be overwhelmed and more Victorians will die," Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.
Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores.
Freight, logisitics and home delivery are also considered essential and will remain open.
School holidays will be brought forward to start on Tuesday and a decision on whether to re-open schools after the term one holidays will be determined following advice from the chief health officer.
"All measures to be implemented by Victoria are consistent with the health advice provided by the Victorian Chief Health Officer," the statement said.
More details will be released on Monday.
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