Thousands of fed-up Victorians are using a loophole to flee the state's stage four lockdown – and many will likely never return.
According to online removalist platform Muval, 20,000 Victorians have looked at relocating since stage four lockdown was announced a week ago – 21 per cent wanted to go to Brisbane, 17 per cent to Perth and 15 per cent to Sydney.
"A lot of the calls we take are from people who have either lost their job or have had a business close down and they're looking to relocate," Adam Coward, who runs the site, told Seven News.
According to Coward, 65 per cent of inquiries on his website over the past fortnight had been people looking to move from Melbourne. "We've had 80,000 people view our blog on our website in the past few months," he told Nine News.
Under stage four restrictions, removalists are still considered essential businesses and Victorians are permitted to move house, within curfew hours.
To get across the border, Victorians need to be able to prove they have a valid lease or residency in Queensland and will have to go through mandatory two-week hotel quarantine.
Former Melburnian Ben De Heed, who now lives in Greenslopes, told the program he packed up and left after two years just as lockdowns kicked in.
"It just went crazy. I was living in Preston, which is in central Melbourne and they are in full lockdown," he told Nine News. "I am relieved I am here (in Queensland)."
Gold Coast buyers agent Tony Coughran, meanwhile, told Seven News he had received three phone calls in one day from people in Melbourne wanting to move. "They just have had enough," he said.
It comes after Victoria recorded 471 new cases and eight more deaths on Thursday.
Victoria was on course for an even bigger virus catastrophe, with 20,000 new daily infections projected by mid-August.
Acting Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said the rate of infections had been growing ten-fold every 10 days, and that might have continued had the government not imposed stage three restrictions.
"On the 25th of June, we first hit 20 cases," he said.
"On the 11th of July, 16 days later we hit 200 cases."
"If we had continued with that same growth rate, 16 days after that, we'd have hit 2000 cases and by next week, we'd have hit 20,000 cases."
While this nightmare scenario was avoided, he said the present rate of daily infection was still "too high", but he hoped it would begin to drop by next week.
"I don't want to get into a number but I would hope it is substantially less than what it is now and we would start to see that start of next week," he said.