Coronavirus crisis: Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews leads the charge for a Stage 3 lockdown

Daniels Andrews, left, has found an ally in NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian as he pushes for a Stage 3 shutdown across the nation.
Daniels Andrews, left, has found an ally in NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian as he pushes for a Stage 3 shutdown across the nation.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews wants Australia locked down.

Even before the state recorded its first two COVID-19 deaths, Mr Andrews demanded further closures and crackdown on social functions.

"No parties, no outings, no gatherings. There's just no, no excuse," Mr Andrews said.

"If you can stay at home, you must stay at home. It is very, very simple.

"We are all being asked to make sacrifices because if we don't people will die."

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National Cabinet has asked the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) for advice on options for the progressive scale up of social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement earlier this week the AHPPC said: "There was a specific request to look at stronger measures in relation to non-essential gatherings initially, followed by consideration of further more intense options."

The next step, if required, is likely to be a carefully considered closure of all activity except essential industries and services.

"All states and territories are in agreement with the above position, except Victoria, who expressed the desire for even stronger measures at this time."

On Thursday NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also warned of tougher lockdown measures if numbers don't start dropping.

Ms Berejiklian said it was promising the state had seen a small reduction in the number of cases overnight and it was even more "promising that very few people had died".

But she said it did not mean the state was out of a "critical" situation.

"We say to everyone please take this seriously, we don't want to use police but we will."

The number of confirmed cases in NSW has risen to 1219, as of Thursday morning.

Australia activated Stage 2 restrictions when food courts, auction rooms, real estate auctions, open house inspections, massage parlours, beauty salons and a range of other non-essential services were hit.

The "do not travel" advice also turned into a strict ban on overseas trips.

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This story Vic Premier Andrews finds an ally in charge for a Stage 3 lockdown first appeared on The Canberra Times.