Australians warned Melbourne's Covid-19 outbreak could be replicated across the nation

Australians have been warned Melbourne's coronavirus outbreak could be replicated across the country as the city goes back into lockdown.

Your playlist will load after this ad

In Melbourne, a citywide lockdown affecting about five million people comes into force tonight. Source: 1 NEWS

Melburnians will be forced back into stay-at-home restrictions from midnight today, just a day after 191 fresh virus cases were confirmed in Victoria.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said no one should give "false guarantees" that Victoria's outbreak would not cross borders.

"It's Victoria now, it could be anyone," the Victorian MP told Sky News yesterday.

"We're all going to have to live with this virus for a long while."

Melburnians and residents in Mitchell Shire, north of the capitial city, will only be allowed to leave home for work, study, essential shopping, exercise or to receive or give care from 11.59pm today.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said people had become complacent

"We have to take this as seriously as we take bushfire. This is binary. It is life and death," he said.

The state's bungled hotel quarantine system is the subject of a judicial inquiry after the virus spread amid alleged infection control breaches.

NSW has closed its border with Victoria, with permits to be issued for people who need to travel interstate for work or health care.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The big move follows another record case rise in Victoria driven by Melbourne's escalating Covid-19 outbreak. Source: 1 NEWS

However the website to apply for a permit reportedly stopped working for a period of time yesterday night.

A Service NSW spokesperson said the permit application system was experiencing high levels of demand.

"We are aware that some people have experienced delays in securing a permit and we apologise for the delay," the spokesperson said in a statement to AAP yesterday.

"In the interim, travellers will be able to demonstrate their eligibility to cross the border to police by carrying relevant documentation based on a category of exemption."

Your playlist will load after this ad

Police have been deployed to make sure everyone living in the nine tower blocks don't leave their homes at all for at least five days. Source: 1 NEWS

Only South Australian residents can enter their state from Victoria and those who do will be forced to quarantine for 14 days.

Victorians granted permission to cross for exceptional circumstances must wear personal protective equipment, including face masks.

The federal government moved quickly yesterday to announce it would waive Victorian parent gap fees from Monday if children don't attend child care for Covid-related reasons in the lockdown areas of Melbourne.

The federal government will also ease the activity test until October 4 to help eligible Victorian families whose jobs are impacted by the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Qantas and Jetstar will significantly reduce flights to and from Melbourne until the end of July at least following the border closure.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison approved Victoria's request for an extra 260 defence force personnel to help Victoria Police with roadblocks around Melbourne's perimeter.

The federal government also agreed to cap international arrivals to Western Australia at 525 people a week to ease pressure on hotel quarantine.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also wants a limit on arrivals as pressure mounts for more flights to land in Brisbane.