Victoria has announced a series of new restrictions following a staggering rise in coronavirus cases.

Premier Daniel Andrews said mandatory face coverings would now apply in regional Victoria, as well as metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

"Today, and in line with the advice of the Chief Health Officer, I can announce that same requirement will apply across regional Victoria," he said in a statement.

"That means from Sunday 2 August at 11.59pm, a face covering will be mandatory whenever you leave home – and wherever you live.

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"I understand this will a big step for some. But by covering your face, you're protecting your community, and protecting those extra freedoms your community enjoys.

"By covering your face, you're keeping local businesses open, and keeping local people in work."

Likewise, from 11.59pm tonight, and in the local government areas of Colac-Otway, Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains, and the Borough of Queenscliffe, residents will no longer be able to visit people or have visitors at home.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews briefs the media on conditions concerning the Covid-19 situation in Melbourne. Photo / AP
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews briefs the media on conditions concerning the Covid-19 situation in Melbourne. Photo / AP

Andrews said 13 people have died overnight – they are three men and three women in their 70s, three men and two women in their 80s, and two men in their 90s.

Some 312 Victorians are in hospital, 34 of those are in intensive care.

There are a total of 913 active cases in aged care.

There are 5385 active cases in the state and 416 in Melbourne Metro and Mitchell shire. There are 255 in regional Victoria.

There were 19,921 coronavirus tests conducted yesterday – that's about 5000 fewer than the daily average this month.

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The state's virus record last peaked on Monday, when 532 cases were announced.

The Premier put out a plea to all Victorians, urging people to practise social distancing and get tested. He said he understands that Victorians are feeling "equal parts frustrated, tired and sad".

"This is one of the biggest challenges our state has faced. And yet, really, we're all being asked to make the smallest of sacrifices," he said.

"By not seeing your mate, you might be saving their life.

"By not hugging your mum, you might be keeping her alive.

Medical transport workers prepare to enter the Epping Aged Care Home in Melbourne, Australia. Photo / Getty Images
Medical transport workers prepare to enter the Epping Aged Care Home in Melbourne, Australia. Photo / Getty Images

"And by covering your face, you're contributing to the safety of every single Victorian.

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"Day by day, decision by decision – we can get on top of this.

"But we need your help."

The human cost of Melbourne's aged-care crisis has been laid bare in a heartbreaking photo of a body wrapped in a rug being wheeled out of a nursing home.

Medical workers covered in protective gear on Wednesday were pictured moving the body from the virus-stricken Epping Gardens Aged Care Facility in Melbourne's north and into a van.

The home has been linked to 86 cases – with 27 staff and 59 residents have contracting the coronavirus – and two deaths.

More than 950 cases of Covid-19 have been linked to aged-care facilities, with active outbreaks across 87 separate centres, as 295 new cases were recorded across the state on Wednesday.

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Former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said Epping Gardens is the facility authorities are most worried about in Victoria.

He said the ADF was called in on Tuesday night after the majority of the workforce had to go into quarantine.