Melburnians are anxiously waiting to see if they will be plunged into yet another lockdown, as the state government weighs fresh restrictions amid a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases brought in from NSW.
They are also furious that the virus was spread to Melbourne by removalists who failed to follow the rules of their workers' permit, did not wear masks and have not been fully cooperating with authorities.
Victoria recorded seven new cases early on Wednesday. Four of the new cases were recorded on level three of Ariele apartments in Maribyrnong where the removalists stopped.
A further two cases were family members of Ariele apartments residents and one case was believed to have been infected at Coles in Craigieburn where a family returning from a red zone were not isolating.
But on Wednesday night, a teacher at Bacchus Marsh Grammar tested positive and two additional two cases took the daily total to 10.
The three new cases are all believed to be linked to the apartment building where the removalists worked without face coverings.
Asked if the removalists had been deliberately evasive, Victoria's Covid-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar said: "They're not being deliberately forthcoming, let me put it that way."
The removalists also visited sites in Ballan and Broadmeadows before driving to South Australia and then returning to NSW, where they tested positive to Covid-19.
The Victorian government is reportedly holding high-level meetings this afternoon to weigh up whether to reimpose restrictions across Melbourne, with an announcement expected as early as Thursday.
Two additional community cases were recorded today, both linked to level two of the Melbourne Cricket Ground members reserve.
A list of exposure sites has been updated and includes the MCG after a Covid-positive man visited the stadium on July 10.
Victoria, now with 16 cases linked to the outbreak, is dealing with two chains of transmission.
"You will appreciate we're dealing with a very dynamic situation here, a very rapidly moving situation here," Weimar said.
Deakin University Chair of Epidemiology Professor Catherine Bennett told the ABC that Victoria is facing a "critical 24 hours".
"They will be looking closely at those signs that we have seen already some transmission in the community," she said.
"They need to understand the risk there may be others who have been infected, who didn't QR check-in to the grocery store ... so this 24-hour period we're now in is critical."
The threat to Victoria comes after NSW extended the Greater Sydney lockdown by at least another two weeks until the end of July, with another 97 cases on Wednesday bringing the total outbreak to 864.
Queensland also today recorded three new community cases of Covid-19. Two of the three cases recently completed hotel quarantine in Sydney. The third is a fully vaccinated international airport worker.
In response to the new cases, the mandatory mask rule for the Greater Brisbane area will be extended for another week.
Kiwis in Melbourne should consider coming home - Hipkins
A decision is yet to be made whether a pause will be placed on the transtasman bubble with Melbourne, however Kiwis in the city should consider coming home, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has said.
Hipkins told Newstalk ZB host Mike Hosking this morning that New Zealand health officials were yet to receive enough information from their Victorian counterparts about whether a bubble pause was probable or not.
"But if you are sitting there thinking 'if a pause happens I can't afford to be stuck away from New Zealand', then it would be prudent to make your way home," he said.
"At this point we haven't got enough information from [Victorian officials] to make our own judgements on whether or not a pause may be necessary."
Hipkins said Victorian officials were giving their Kiwi counterparts updates every few hours and a decision would be based on those.
In a statement yesterday, Hipkins "encouraged anyone with concerns about the potential of a pause to quarantine-free travel, to organise to get home as soon as possible".
Travellers from Victoria would still need a negative pre-departure test, he said, and to fill out a travel declaration form including whether they had been to a location of interest.