Last night, 24 March 2020, National Cabinet took another big step. I want to tell you why and let you know what we need you to do right now.
The Prime Minister and other first ministers recognised that Victoria is currently grappling with a more imminent threat than most other states – because we have more cases.
Because of this, we agreed states and territories will soon need to take individual measures – because this is moving at a different speed in different places.
I am pleased that National Cabinet has made that decision – and tonight we’ll discuss it further.
We said there would be a Stage 2 and that’s what we’re doing today. But I’ll be up front with you, there will also be a Stage 3.
We need more time to get our health system ready for what’s coming. Every country in the world that is running ahead of us would give anything to have had more time.
Last night, the Prime Minister went through the details of Stage 2 restrictions on non-essential venues and activities. In Victoria, those will begin at midnight tonight.
We don’t take these actions lightly but to put it bluntly: if we don’t slow this thing down, we won’t just have people waiting in line for Centrelink – we’ll have people waiting in line for machines to help them breathe.
I know this is stressful and I know this is scary.
The measures we already have in place are difficult, and these will be harder again.
I want to reassure you that things like supermarkets, petrol stations, banks, post offices and bottle shops – and a number of other essential services – will be staying open.
But I want to be very clear: the more people ignore the rules and ignore the advice – the more this virus will continue to spread.
There is no social occasion or celebration that’s worth more than a human life.
For Victorians that means if you can stay home, you must stay home.
We are all being asked to make sacrifices. Because if we don’t, people will die.
A full list of Stage 1 and 2 restrictions will be available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au. Businesses seeking advice about whether they are affected can also call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15.