COVID-19: Melbourne goes back into lockdown tonight amid surge in cases

On Wednesday night nearly five million people in the Australian city of Melbourne will head back into lockdown as Victoria grapples with another 134 new cases.

From midnight tonight Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has ordered metropolitan Melbourne into stage 3 lockdown for six weeks.

"As painful and frustrating and difficult as that may be, we will be able to get to the other side of this stay-at-home period," said Andrews.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it could happen to any city in any state and they're in it together.

"We're all Melbournians now, when it comes to the challenges we face, we're all Victorians now, because we're all Australians."

Army roadblocks have been set up around the city and restaurants, pubs and gyms will be closed again. People will only be allowed out for work, school and essentials.

For Kiwi journalist Rebekah Holt it means a split household.  While she's working in lockdown in Melbourne, her partner is working in New South Wales.

"We don't know when we'll see each other so that's difficult and bizarre for a family but there's a lot of people in that situation," she said.

And there's a return of panic buying at the supermarkets.

"The last two times I've been to the supermarket near me, nearly no milk and toilet papers out again," Holt said.

But her Kiwi upbringing has helped.

"I'm a kid that grew up on the West Coast of the South Island, my parents used to go whitebait fishing so we were very used to going for months and months without going to the shops, so I might approach this slightly differently to other people."

And it's worth being prepared, with the New South Wales Premier warning of further restrictions.

"If we see that what we've allowed at this point is too much of a health risk we will need to take further action," said Gladys Berejiklian.

Officials warning that the pandemic will kill thousands if it's not brought under control.