Premier Daniel Andrews has issued a stern warning for people travelling between Bendigo and Melbourne for work that they should avoid doing so unless absolutely necessary.
In the closing stages of his daily press conference on Tuesday, he was asked what he thought about regional Victorian workers travelling to and from Melbourne and vice versa.
Mr Andrews said such people needed to do everything they could to avoid travelling and only do so if there was no alternative.
He said this applied to Melbourne people travelling to the regions, as well as people going from the regions to Melbourne.
"I'd like to see as little movement as possible between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne, both ways," he said.
"I think that people, particularly those who are coming to Melbourne from regional Victoria, they know and understand how important it is to keep this out of regional Victoria and keep the numbers really low."
Mr Andrews, originally from Wangaratta, said he had not returned home since Christmas and said he could not see himself doing so any time in the near future.
"If you can defer a trip into regional Victoria, do not make a trip into regional Victoria, that's the safest thing to do," he said.
The last thing you want is a Melburnian responsible for taking this virus into regional Victoria.Premier Daniel Andrews
"Sometimes people will do their very best and they won't know (if they have COVID), but if you have symptoms you shouldn't be travelling anywhere except to get tested."
Ballarat has maintained a relatively low COVID-19 count despite massive escalations in Melbourne in recent weeks.
As of Monday afternoon, there were 57 active cases in Greater Bendigo, and 90 across the region.