Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in place and more promised

VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews has warned Australians there will be Stage 3 restrictions on non-essential activities.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday announced Stage 2 restrictions including the cancellation of real estate auctions and inspections, beauty, nail and tattoo shops, amusement parks, wellness centres and libraries.

Those restrictions will be effective in Victoria from midnight on Wednesday.

"We said there would be a Stage 2 and that's what we're doing today ... but I'll be up front with you, there will also be a Stage 3," Mr Andrews said on Wednesday.

"I know this is stressful and I know this is scary.

"The measures we already have in place are difficult, and these will be harder again."

Mr Morrison also urged people to stay at home unless they needed to leave for groceries, exercise or medical needs.

"I want to reassure you that things like supermarkets, petrol stations, banks, post offices and bottle shops – and a number of other essential services – will be staying open," Mr Andrews said.

"But I want to be very clear, the more people ignore the rules and ignore the advice – the more this virus will continue to spread.

"There is no social occasion or celebration that's worth more than a human life.

"For Victorians that means if you can stay home, you must stay home.

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

As of midday on Tuesday, there have been 2136 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia.

More than 160,000 tests have been conducted across Australia and of the 2136 confirmed cases across the country, eight people have died from COVID-19.

A full list of Stage 1 and 2 restrictions will be available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.