After a week of uncertainty, Ballarat, as well as the rest of Victoria is officially set to go into lock-down from Tuesday.
All non-essential activity including schools and business across Victoria will be shut down by Tuesday to combat the spread of coronavirus.
"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.
During the shut down, Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores.
After Sunday night's meeting of the state heads, the Prime Minster ordered clubs and pubs, cinemas, gyms, churches and places of social gathering shut down by midday Monday with cafes and restaurants limited to takeaway only.
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.
Ballarat Mayor Ben Taylor stressed the importance of looking after each other in line with the City of Ballarat's 'be kind Ballarat' initiative.
"This is an ever changing situation, we're still not sure what this means apart from knowing that we still need essential services," he said.
"We need to continue to make sure we're looking out for each other. We've gone for that 'be kind' message, and this is now really important as we move into lock down as to what the state government sets."
Cr Taylor added he expects the public's transition towards the upcoming changes to be a difficult one, especially for workers and businesses owners unable to work from home.
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"Things have moved so quickly... there already have been big changes to businesses that have really affected people and now this is going to be quite dramatic for people to really come to grips with what it means to close their doors during this shutdown period."
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.
Committee for Ballarat chief executive Michael Poulton expressed his concern for small businesses during this time, but praised the state government for acting quickly on the issue.
"We can't sugar-coat this, this is going to be devastating for businesses," he said.
"It's going to be an incredibly tough period, businesses will close and some businesses will be at risk of failing.
"We have to take our lead from what is happening elsewhere around the world so I'm actually pleased the government has acted quickly and decisively because we do know what's coming and if we were to be complacent about this we could be the next France, Spain or Italy."
Some businesses will be able to benefit from a government tax refund, which will assist about 24,000 small and medium size businesses around the state.
This comes after 67 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed over Saturday night, bringing the state's total to 296. This brings the total of confirmed cases in Ballarat to three, as well as one case in Hepburn and one case in Moorabool.
The premier will provide more information on what services are exempt form the lock-down on Monday.
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