Ballarat will get through to the other side of the seven-day snap "circuit breaker" lockdown, the city's leaders say, but we'll have to help each other out.
From Thursday night, there will only be five reasons to leave the house - care and caregiving; authorised work and education; shopping and exercising within five kilometres; and getting vaccinated - and masks must be worn at all times outside of the home.
There are fears for businesses that will be heavily affected, especially tourism and hospitality that will be operating without JobKeeper support, while school students will return to remote learning.
The lockdowns are a reaction to a spike in case numbers for a fast-moving variant of COVID-19 in metropolitan Melbourne, and will affect all of Victoria until 11.59pm on Thursday, June 3.
City of Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney said he was confident people will get through in one piece.
"All we can do is look to what happened in February as a bit of a guide," he said.
"More than anything else, we're encouraging people to continue to take that message of be kind, being kind to yourself, being kind to neighbors and being kind to businesses where you possibly can, because there can be a wearing down effect of these closures in Victoria.
"It can wear people down and we just encourage people just to recognize that, to take care of themselves and be kind."
Commerce Ballarat chief executive Jodie Gillett said the decision was "devastating" for the business community, especially for businesses just getting back on their feet.
"They've shown us their incredible strength and resilience before and I have no doubt they'll do so again," she said.
"We know and understand what needs to be done now, and we need to do whatever we can do keep our community safe.
"It's really important we all focus on keeping our eye on the prize, that's to keep our businesses open and citizens employed, so we need to really focus on a positive way, if we can, to help them do that."
Committee for Ballarat chief executive Michael Poulton said if everyone followed the rules, the lockdown will pass without being extended, as case numbers begin to fall.
"The seven days seems like a long time, but if we can do what we know we're capable of doing, and we've seen this in other states, it can pass very quickly if we do all the right things in terms of the guidelines," he said.
"There's some simple measures individuals can take, and let's support local business where we can - we're all doing it tough."
IN THE NEWS
Several City of Ballarat services like libraries, pools, and gyms will close, but kindergartens and childcare will stay open - council's chief executive, Evan King, said even though events were being postponed or cancelled, it would be short-term pain for long-term gain.
"We've been through a number of lockdowns - it's about redeploying all of those processes to protect our staff and protect the community," he said.
"If we can have a quick, short circuit breaker, then hopefully we can get back to normal as quickly as possible - it's imperative that we get back open for the long weekend, which is really important for tourism and economic activity in our city."
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.