VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews says extending stage 3 restrictions to all regional Victoria is necessary and proportionate to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Asked about "COVID-free" regions that felt the latest restrictions were too tough, Mr Andrews responded: "They're COVID-free to the best of our knowledge."
"When you get the mystery cases at these volumes, and when you finish up with growing cases in regional Victoria ... then you have no choice but to make the really difficult decision to come down this hard," he said.
Mr Andrews said while he knew and understood it would be difficult for such communities, the rules were based on both state and federal public health advice.
The rules were about "trying to do everything we can" to keep numbers low and stop the coronavirus situation in regional Victoria deteriorating.
"The key point here is to get beyond this wave and these are the settings that will make that more likely than less," he said.
An Apollo Bay man driving to Mildura, stopped in Macedon Ranges, was said to be among 160 people fined due to COVID-19 rule breaches in Victoria on Monday.