An extension to Victoria’s fourth lockdown appears to be likely, with contact tracers still scrambling to keep pace with the latest outbreak.

The state government is expected to make an announcement this morning that the so-called ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown will be extended until at least early next week.

The lockdown had initially been slated to come to an end on Thursday night, however, the continued discovery of new cases, along with the number and nature of exposure sites has health authorities on high alert.

Decision-makers were locked in a cabinet meeting last night to decide the state’s fate over the coming days, with fears that the current strain of virus circulating is more infectious than previous strains.

The decision to extend the lockdown restrictions will come as little surprise to many Victorians, with Acting Premier James Merlino warning Victorians on Monday that this outbreak “may well get worse before it gets better.”

While the state effectively recorded only three new cases on Tuesday, Mr Merlino said that “type of cases” along with the number of new cases would be looked at to make a decision on restrictions. It is understood that authorities consider whether or not infections were in a high-risk setting and whether links to other known cases can be traced when considering restrictions.

The list of exposure sites across Victoria has now ballooned out to over 350 locations. Another 67 venues were added on Tuesday, including busy Coles and Officeworks stores in the CBD.

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You can see the full list of exposure sites on the Department of Health’s website here.

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