Within days, Victoria is expected to push toward more stringent controls on coronavirus.
Key state ministers held a Saturday night video meeting to decide on the new rules that could be announced by Premier Daniel Andrews as early as Sunday.
The expected Stage 4 lockout would take place in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and last six weeks, according to The Australian.
Melbourne newspapers The Herald Sun and The Age have been commenting on the consequences of the new laws.
Only supermarkets, pharmacies, and service stations would be permitted to continue trading in Melbourne, with a potential exemption for hardware stores, which may remain open only to traders.
Police patrols will expand significantly and the cops are supposed to use licence plate recognition technology to crack down on non-essential travel.
Public transit services will be “drastically reduced” to “a near-total shutdown” stage. Yet again, high school students would be required to learn from home.
Apparently some steps were still up for debate. For example, how many people per household should visit a supermarket could end up being restrictions.
Mr Andrews told reporters on Saturday morning that “today isn’t the day to take further steps,” but admitted that the government was considering a variety of options for reducing group transmission.
Of the 397 cases announced, Mr Andrews said there were 49 that health officials “simply cannot trace back” to where they came from.
“We are giving due consideration to a whole range of different options, when I am in a position to announce decisions I will do that,” Mr Andrews said.
“49 doesn’t seem a very large number but I just say to all Victorians that 49 where you can’t be certain how they got it, that can mean there are many more than 49 out there that have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all, they can be at the height of their infectivity, and be infecting other people unbeknownst to them.
“That is the real challenge here. It is a silent enemy, it is a very cunning enemy as well. But particularly those community transmission cases are of greatest concern to us.
“That is why we find ourselves in a position to evaluate these things and we can’t rule out further steps being taken, they are being taken because that is what is necessary.”