Two COVID-19 testing sites close as damaging winds lash Victoria

Strong winds have forced the closure of two COVID-19 testing sites in Melbourne's outer east and the weather bureau is warning of more damaging gusts to come.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Richard Russell said metropolitan Melbourne could expect the strongest gusts – potentially up to 100km/h – from 2pm until 4pm.

In the 24 hours to 1pm on Tuesday, the Victorian SES had already been called to 23 jobs, mostly for fallen trees.

Mr Russell said the change, which is coming from the west, also had the chance to bring thunderstorms.

"The greatest risk is towards the coast – and we've already seen lightning activity around Cape Otway – but there's risk everywhere in southern Victoria," he said.

"That would be the most likely method of bringing the strong winds."

Weather warnings are in place for most of the state's south.

Melbourne, particularly the eastern suburbs, can expect up to 4mm of rain through isolated showers.

The wild winds, well before the expected afternoon change, forced the Health Department to close drive-through COVID-19 testing sites at Casey Fields and Pakenham Recreation Reserve.

Both were open marquees that could be blown away by strong winds and staff were also having trouble writing down details while out in the open, it said in a statement.

The department directed people in those areas to alternative sites nearby, including a walk-through site at Clyde Recreation Reserve football pavilion on Pattersons Road in Clyde. It is open daily from 9am to 4pm.

There is also a walk-through site at 7 Gibb Street in Berwick which is open from 9.30am to 4pm and another drive-through site at 20 Woods Street in Beaconsfield which is open from 8am to 5pm.

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