Melbourne will almost certainly be plunged into its fourth lockdown, senior government sources have confirmed.
The state government held talks late into the night about a five-day “circuit breaker”, which could be extended if significant numbers of cases not directly linked to the existing cluster emerged.
A cabinet meeting Thursday morning will determine the length of the lockdown, but it now appears unavoidable.
Discussions on Thursday morning will centre around whether or not the lockdown has to exceed five days.
But a longer lockdown is currently the most likely option.
Health authorities have been left alarmed at speed at which case numbers are rising and fear Melbourne could follow international cities who went from no cases to significant outbreaks.
A press conference will be held later this morning.
Meanwhile, Victoria’s list of hot spots has swelled to nearly 80 exposure sites, with eight new tier one exposure sites identified by the Department of Health late on Wednesday night.