The state recorded 37 new cases yesterday, the lowest figure since June 25, at the start of the state’s second wave. It is also the tenth consecutive day to be reported where cases have been below 100 cases.
Another seven Victorians have also died from contamination, bringing Australia’s total fatalities to 810.
Premier Daniel Andrews has brought to attention an average daily infection rate of between 30 and 50 as a key goal before stage four restrictions can be eased.
From midnight tonight, Melbourne residents will experience some relief from stage four measures by allowances made to increase allowable daily exercise from one hour to two hours along with socialising also permitted during this time.
Single people who are living alone or with only their dependent children will be permitted to form “singles bubbles” with one other person.
The premier is under increasing pressure to further loosen the stringent measures as case numbers continue to decline.
It is reported that there are now 1157 active cases of coronavirus in Victoria, including 176 health care workers.
Despite that, the Premier has said it remains “highly unlikely” Melbourne will meet the necessary criteria to allow reopening of businesses before the scheduled date, October 26th.
Under his government’s roadmap out of lockdown, the 14-day average of daily COVID-19 cases needs to be less than five cases before businesses such as hairdressers and outdoor dining are able to reopen.
Once this target has been met, the curfew will cease to apply. There will be no restrictions on leaving home and public gatherings outdoors will increase to groups of 10.
The premier said it was “highly unlikely we will meet those case number thresholds” before the scheduled date.
“It is not just about numbers, but about the passage of time,” he said.
“The passage of time is, I know, very painful and very challenging for businesses and for families, but in terms of taking safe steps, it is a positive thing.”
‘Regional virus numbers proof roadmap is working’
Only 52 cases are in the state’s regions that are under stage three restrictions, with no new cases recorded today.
There was one case reported for the region of Horsham in the state’s west, however Mr Andrews stated the Horsham resident had been residing in Melbourne for the past four months and caught the infection there.
“This person’s residential address is in that community which is why the case has been recorded in that way,” he said.
“The case will have no impact on decisions informing when regional Victoria can take next steps.”
The regions have recorded zero new cases of transmission today, with a 14-day daily case average of 4.1.
“I hope that people in Melbourne are looking to what is occurring in regional Victoria as proof-positive – not a model, not a theory, but the actual delivery of this plan,” Mr Andrews said.
“This strategy is delivering low numbers and keeping them low and it is at that point that you can open with real confidence that having got the numbers low, we can you keep the numbers low.
“That is what we will deliver in regional Victoria and right across metropolitan Melbourne – not bouncing in and out of lockdowns, but making sure that everything that Victorians have given counts for something.”
Regional Victoria leaves stage three restrictions from midnight tonight, meaning they will be allowed to socialised outdoors in groups of up to five people from a maximum of two households.
The premier also flagged a swift move to continue lifting of restrictions for the regions, with the state set to reach the necessary case numbers around the middle of this week.
The next step in the government’s roadmap allows residents to leave home for any reason, with no restrictions on distance travelled.
Public groups of 10 outside are also permitted, as well as “household bubbles” of up to five visitors from one other nominated household.