Victoria has recorded 41 new cases of Covid-19 and seven deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 723.

Melbourne and regional Victoria are set to move into slightly relaxed restrictions from midnight, including allowing single households and parents to form social bubbles with one other person.

The Melbourne curfew will be shortened by an hour, allowing people out until 9.00pm, and people will be able to exercise for two hours instead of one.

Victoria recorded 37 new Covid-19 infections on Saturday, the lowest daily increase since late June.

Metropolitan Melbourne’s 14-day coronavirus daily case average dropped for the fifth day in a row on Saturday to 61.6, and regional Victoria’s dropped to 4.3.

Regional Victoria needs to continue recording a 14-day average below five cases per day and go two weeks without a “mystery” infection whose origins cannot be determined in order to reach the next step of opening up.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said yesterday the regions were “on track” to skip a step and open up earlier than expected.

Professor Sutton also said the target to reach the last step of opening was not set it stone.

“If we get to a point where it is clear it is not possible to get to no community transmission we will make a call on that,” he said.

Premier Daniel Andrews said while it was too early to “predict with any certainty” what Victoria’s summer would look like, he provided some hope events such as the Boxing Day cricket Test may go ahead with crowds.

“I want Christmas to be as close to normal as possible. I want the Boxing Day Test to happen. I’d like to think that we’ve got a chance there’ll be significant crowds there, but I can’t announce that now,” he said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien has called for a royal commission into the government’s handling of coronavirus and for stage 3 restrictions to be reintroduced in Melbourne next week.

O’Brien said keeping masks mandatory but allowing people back to work and children back to school “would be a sensible way to get some businesses safely reopened”.

SOURCE – RADIO NZ

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