After a surge in coronavirus cases, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced on Tuesday that metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be going back into lockdown.

But things look a little different this time around. Here are the answers to a few common questions.

When does the lockdown kick in?
11.59pm, Wednesday July 8.

When does it end?
All going well, authorities will look at relaxing restrictions again in six weeks, on Thursday August 20.

Which areas are affected?
The metropolitan areas in lockdown include Banyule, Hume, Moreland, Bayside, Kingston, Mornington Peninsula, Boroondara, Knox, Nillumbik, Brimbank, Manningham, Port Phillip, Cardinia, Maribyrnong, Stonnington, Casey, Maroondah, Whitehorse, Darebin, Melbourne, Whittlesea, Frankston, Melton, Wyndham, Glen Eira, Monash, Yarra, Greater Dandenong, Moonee Valley, Yarra Ranges and Hobsons Bay.

Mitchell Shire, to Melbourne’s north, is also affected. It includes the towns of Broadford, Kilmore, Seymour, Tallarook, Pyalong and Wallan.

What does lockdown mean?
In essence, you must stay home unless you need to leave for one (or more) of the following four reasons:

  1. To go shopping for food and other essential items.
  2. To receive or provide medical care, or for compassionate reasons.
  3. To study or work, if you can’t do so from home.
  4. To exercise outdoors.

What’s new this time around is that you cannot leave the lockdown area to exercise – last time, we were all heading off on hikes – and it's recommended that you don't leave your local area.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, "you should also stay close to home and use common sense and consideration when it comes to these activities."

What’s an “essential item”?
It’s not been clearly defined, but something necessary, such as toothpaste or tampons, would fit the bill. Shopping for a new phone case, for example, might be something you can put off for a few weeks (or you can shop online).

It’s recommended you get as much shopping done in one hit as you can, and avoid daily trips. Or get your groceries online from these independent local businesses instead.

Can I have a friend or family member over to my house?
No, unless it’s for compassionate reasons, or to provide or receive medical care. Likewise, you can’t visit anyone else.

But there is one exception. You can visit your “intimate partner” and vice versa. The term hasn’t been defined, but we note that it’s singular. You can also travel in and out of a locked down area to visit a partner.

Can I enter locked down areas, if I don’t live in them?
You can, if you’re shopping for food and supplies, receiving or providing medical care, or for study or work you can’t do from home.

You cannot travel to these areas for exercise or recreation.

Can I travel through those areas if I need to?
You can, but you cannot stop in an impacted area unless it’s for one of the three reasons above.

Can I exercise with other people?
Indoor group exercise is not allowed, and outdoors you can either work out with the members of your household, or with one person you don’t live with.

Can I go to the beach?
Yes, but only to exercise, and only within metropolitan Melbourne.

Which businesses and facilities are closing?
• Beauty and personal care services, not including hairdressers and barbers.
• Cultural and entertainment venues, including galleries, museums, historic sites, zoos, amusement parks, arcades, play centres, cinemas, drive-in cinemas, concert halls and other venues, theatres, auditoriums, arenas, stadiums, casinos and other gaming venues.
• Community facilities including libraries, community sports centres, but not “essential public support services” such as food banks.
• Indoor sports centres including gyms, training facilities and pools.

Are hairdressers really staying open again?
Yep. Hairdressers and barbers can stay open.

What about restaurants, bars and cafes?
Restaurants and cafes will return to takeaway and home-delivery only – dining in will be banned.

Pubs, bars, clubs and nightclubs will close, unless serving food and alcohol to go.

We reckon you should bookmark our live list of the city’s takeaway offerings, which we’re updating every couple of days.

Will schools be open?
Year 11 and 12 students will head back to school for term three from July 13, along with students at special schools and year 10 students taking VCE subjects.

Other students’ return to school will be delayed by at least a week, though they may instead return to remote learning. This decision will be based on advice from public health experts.

Can I go to church?
You can't physically attend a church for worship.

Religious ceremonies and worship can happen virtually though, and a maximum of five people can gather to conduct the ceremony itself.

What about weddings and funerals?
Weddings will again be limited to five people, including the happy couple. Funerals can be attended by up to 10 guests, not including staff.

Can I play sport, or work out with my personal trainer?
All indoor gyms and sporting facilities will close.

Outdoor sport facilities will also be closed – except those where people can exercise alone, with their household, or with just one other person and still maintain 1.5 metres’ distance from others. No sporting equipment should be shared.

Communal amenities such as showers and change rooms at all sporting facilities will be closed.

Personal training can go ahead, but only outside, and with a limit of two participants plus the instructor. Beyond that, group training – unless it’s only with other members of your household – is banned.

Note that you can’t travel outside a locked down area to play sport, either.

Can I go stay at my holiday house, or go camping?
Holiday accommodation – including hotels, Airbnbs and camping grounds – within the lockdown areas will be closed.

You cannot go to your own holiday house, either – you must stay at your principal place of residence.

The exception here is for anyone staying in emergency accommodation, or travelling for essential work.

I’m already on holiday. Am I allowed to come home?
If you live in one of the locked down areas, you can come home once your holiday is over. You don’t have to cut your holiday short.

You cannot leave locked down areas to go on holiday, though.

I live in one of the public housing towers affected by the “hard lockdown”. Does the above apply to me?
Right now, if you live in any of the below buildings you cannot leave your home for any reason.

• 12 Holland Court, Flemington
• 120 Racecourse Road, Flemington
• 126 Racecourse Road, Flemington
• 130 Racecourse Road, Flemington
• 12 Sutton Street, North Melbourne
• 33 Alfred Street, North Melbourne
• 159 Melrose Street, North Melbourne
• 9 Pampas Street, North Melbourne
• 76 Canning Street, North Melbourne

You also cannot have visitors over, even if they live in the same building.

These measures will be in place while resident testing takes place, and will be reviewed every 24 hours until restrictions are eventually adjusted in line with the rest of Melbourne, based on testing results.

Hardship payments and support services are available. More information and FAQs here.

Can I move house?
This hasn’t yet been confirmed, but there were no restrictions on moving last time around.

Can I have tradies or contractors come to my house?
Yes, but only if necessary, and contact should be minimised.

Those who do leave their homes for essential reasons must follow social distancing guidelines, which include maintaining 1.5 metres from others at all times and avoiding physical greetings.

For the latest updates, check the Department of Health and Human Services website.