WORST fears have been realised for battle-weary Victorians, with the state due to head into a five-day lockdown after a spate of new cases.
Weddings are among activities that are off limits as well as auctions, hair and beauty services, community sport beyond playgrounds, swimming pools "of all kinds", libraries and more.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the strain was moving "at a velocity not seen in our country in the past 12 months".
"Because this is so infectious and is moving so fast, we need a circuit breaker," he said.
"These restrictions are all about making sure that we respond appropriately to the fastest moving most infectious strain of coronavirus that we have seen
"I know this is not the news that Victorians want to hear today, and I know this is not the situation we want to be in but ... I am confident this short, sharp circuit breaker will be effective.
"I want to be here next Wednesday saying these restrictions are coming off, but I can't do it by myself."
Mr Andrews said the short Brisbane and WA shutdowns were the only points of comparison, with Sydney's Avalon cluster a different strain.
"We have to follow the advice and understand that no-one can possibly trace and track, no one, if you have got cases infecting their close contacts and they become known to you at the same time," he said.
Schools will close but remain available on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for "vulnerable children" and childcare will stay open.
Timeline of Holiday Inn outbreak:
Thirteen COVID-19 cases have been linked to the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport, with hundreds of close contacts in isolation.
The Victorian Cabinet is meeting to consider a possible five-day lockdown.
There are currently 19 active cases with 24,209 test results received up till midnight Thursday.
Brunetti cafe at Melbourne Airport Terminal 4 on Tuesday, February 9, between 04.45am and 1.15pm is a new tier 1 exposure site, with anyone who has been there told to isolate.
Five new locally acquired cases were reported on Thursday.
Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton suspects the virus spread via a nebuliser, used by one of the family members in hotel quarantine at the Holiday Inn.
The Holiday Inn closed until further notice for "terminal cleaning".
About 135 staff at the hotel stood down, told to isolate at home and get tested, and all residents have been moved.
Genomic sequencing results for a resident and a worker at the Holiday Inn infected during the outbreak have confirmed the virus is the B.1.1.7 strain - the UK variant.
Two new testing sites have been opened in Sunbury and 20 other sites have increased their hours of operation.
- With AAP