Melbourne golfers are staring at a minimum six-week hiatus from the fairways after Victoria was declared a “State of Disaster” and its capital moved to stage-four lockdown overnight as the city’s battle to contain the coronavirus outbreak continues.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced the harsh new shutdown measures after another concerning spike in community transmissions around the state, particularly in the metropolitan Melbourne precinct.

Visit Victoria: Daniel Andrews

Stage-four restrictions only allow for one hour of exercise, with activities previously allowed under stage 3 rules, such as golf, fishing and tennis, now on the banned list.

“Daily exercise is just that. It’s an opportunity to get some exercise. It’s not an opportunity to live our lives as if this pandemic was not real and not here,” Mr Andrews said.

“When it comes to exercise, it’s no longer three sets of tennis or a game of golf or any of that. It is staying close to home and only once per day and only one person. That is really very, very important as well.

“The whole issue of one hour really puts beyond doubt some of those recreational activities anyway because you simply wouldn’t be able to conduct some of those things in an hour.”

Regional Victoria will also move to stage three “stay at home” restrictions from Thursday, while Mitchell Shire will remain on stage three restrictions.

While golf is still permissible in these regional areas, it comes with strict regulations which must be adhered to, including a maximum of two players per group where a social distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained at all times.

Here’s a full breakdown of what you need to know:

The sport’s governing body, Golf Australia, confirmed it is writing to provide further assistance and guidance to Victorian clubs and facilities on these latest measures.

“Based on the statement made by the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, all golf clubs and facilities in Metropolitan Melbourne must close from 6pm on Sunday, August 2 until further advised,” Golf Australia said on its website.

“Golf Australia will provide further advice on the access of essential staff to clubs/facilities such as greenkeepers as soon as practicable following engagement with the Victorian Government.”

This story will be updated as more information comes to hand.