There are now 411 cases of coronavirus confirmed in Victoria.

Premier Daniel Andrews said there had been 56 new positive cases identified since Monday morning.

The increased tally comes as the first full day of Victoria’s shutdown sees all schools closed, empty courts and most of the hospitality industry crumbling.

Andrews said the measures were tough, but they had to be in order to curb the spread of the deadly illness, and implored people to follow the isolation, social distancing and shut down rules.

The Victorian government has brought the school holidays forward to Tuesday, bucking the federal government’s advice to keep schools open in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

At this stage, schools are due to return on April 14, but the holidays were brought forward to help teachers prepare for the possibility of remote learning.

For now, kindergartens and childcare centres remain open.

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The shutdown announced by the Victorian government will see trades and construction continue, as well as supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores.

The government, however, has followed the nationwide shutdown of pubs, clubs, gyms and other venues because too many people are not taking the virus threat seriously, Andrews said.

Restaurants and cafes are restricted to home delivery and take away.

Victoria’s measures are considered a stage one shutdown and they are likely to escalate.

A 500-strong coronavirus task force is being set up by Victoria Police to enforce the closure of non-essential services and mandatory 14-day self-isolation for travellers.

All hearings in Victoria’s magistrates courts except first appearances, some preliminary hearings and those determining whether an accused stands trial are being pushed back until June 15.

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Visits to hospitals are being limited, with no more than two visitors per patient per day, for two hours, from midnight on Monday.

Weddings and funerals can still go ahead in smaller numbers but the one-person-per-four-square-metre rule will apply.

 

AAP