Melburnians have gone out of their way to get their hair cut and shopping in a last-minute rush before the draconian stage four lockdown forces a string of companies to close their doors for six weeks at midnight.
Hairdressers, electrical and furniture stores, food courts and clothing stores served their last customers on Wednesday until at least mid-September.
By then, it will be a different state in both economic and seasonal climates than the icy and wet conditions people ventured today.
People flocked to the hairdresser on Wednesday for a final haircut for an even more difficult ending
Bunnings will not be open to workers until tomorrow. On Wednesday, people ventured into the rain to replace gas bottles
Furniture stores were busy with last-minute shoppers on Wednesday
As rain crashed in west Melbourne, the parking lot at Bunnings Warehouse in Wyndham’s COVID-19 hotspot was packed with last-minute customers.
People were struggling to swap gas bottles and pick up stuff that could keep them busy for the next six weeks of hard closure.
Come tomorrow, only traditions that finish jobs can come in and get what they need.
It was a similar scene to soon-to-be-closed businesses along Old Geelong Road shopping street, with parking garages packed with last-minute shoppers.
At Spotlight, customers were spotted with bundles of fabric to make face masks.
A woman made sure to stock fabrics with Christmas figures on the assumption that this last lockdown could continue well into the summer.
Down the footpath, anxious drivers lined up in front of a VicRoads office, confused as to whether or not it would remain open during the closure.
It was a question that Hoppers Crossing auto mechanic Mick was eager to learn the answer to.
His company, Rapidflow Developments, looked like a Christmas Eve shopping center on Wednesday when motorists flooded the mechanic with their vehicles.
According to the closing law of phase four, which comes into force at midnight, mechanics are only allowed to perform ’emergency repairs’.
The state government has made life more difficult by closing the auto parts industry that supplies state mechanics.
Mick told Daily Mail Australia that he did not know what an emergency repair exactly was.
“If a car’s engine light comes on and the owner is worried, the car will catch fire, well, is that an emergency?” he thought.
“On the other hand, someone may need to check their brakes or have their car serviced because they are an essential worker who drives a lot.”
Rapidflow Developments’ Mick was overrun with customers hoping to have their car serviced before closing
VicRoads saw people queuing outside to enter the west of Melbourne on Wednesday
Spotlight continued to do a roaring trade on Wednesday as people came in for materials to make masks
The experienced mechanic said some would probably not consider their radio an emergency.
“We will try to do the right thing. Car repairs are predominantly a safety concern, or they wouldn’t be here, “he said.
Talkback radio was infused with phone calls from like-minded Melburnians asking for clarification as to what they could and could not do.
“Were UberEats deliveries allowed after 8pm curfew?” one early.
The answers were not great.
Many stores had already closed their doors at Werribee Pacific, a large shopping center that focuses on the Wyndham hotspot.
Some were closed during the first outbreak and never opened again.
The Zing Pop Culture store remained open, but planned to close the doors at 3pm.
Bunnings was packed with last-day shoppers at Hoppers Crossing on Wednesday
Hairdressers were busy with customers before closing on Thursday
Most of its customers had stripped their shelves of the Lego Super Mario starter packs on Saturday.
“They will likely be an essential item for the next six weeks,” said the prospective unemployed retailer.
He planned to spend his days in lockdown to catch up with his video games.
At JB HiFi, shoppers made last minute purchases to help them get through the lockdown.
Kitchen supplies and clothing stores opened for what may be the last time ever.
Food courts served their last customers and hairdressers cut their last locks.
The owner of a busy hair salon told Daily Mail Australia that she understood why they had to close.
“It’s for the safety of the community,” she said. “We just hope this gets the job done and we can get back to work when this is all over.”
Busy mom Rachel had just taken her daughter Madison for a haircut.
“I have to cut my hair in six weeks now,” she said.
Kmart had already closed its doors on Wednesday
Many Melbourne stores closed early before Thursday’s closing
Beauty salons were forced to close under phase three restrictions weeks ago. Some never open again
K-mart was already closed because Big W and Target served a stream of customers for the last time.
While Melburnians have once again stocked supermarket stocks like meat in recent days, the crazy rush seemed to subside Wednesday morning.
Still, the supply of chicken and minced meat were the favorite items among the soon to be heavily isolated.
As Prime Minister Daniel Andrews reported 15 deaths and 725 new cases of coronavirus, Victorians prepared to lock themselves in and wait for the next grim update tomorrow and hope the numbers start to drop.
An elderly woman sits quietly in an almost deserted shopping center on Wednesday
The food courts will be completely closed tomorrow. A few customers enjoyed a last meal on Wednesday
Big W closes its doors on Thursday. Customers last made stock today