Victorian schools closed from Tuesday, non-essential activity to stop over the next 48 hours

By James Bennett

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says schools across the state will close from Tuesday in an attempt to "combat" the spread of COVID-19

On Friday school children were due to start their end-of-term holidays, however Mr Andrews said it an a statement it would be brought forward to start from this Tuesday March 24.

He said reopening schools after Term 1 holidays would be determined follow advice from the chief health officer. 

Mr Andrews said he would also start shutting down all non-essential activity over the next 48 hours.

"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," Mr Andrews said.

"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, logistics and home delivery are also considered essential and will remain open.

"All measures to be implemented by Victoria are consistent with the health advice provided by the Victorian Chief Health Officer."