Daniel Andrews has hinted for the first time that Melbourne may be lifted out of lockdown before October 26, maybe even in a couple of weeks.
Melburnians are waking up today with the prospect of having to endure just a couple more weeks of lockdown as the state's cases continue to plummet.
This morning, the news just keeps getting better as the state recorded just 11 new cases – marking the eleventh consecutive day the state has recorded a daily infections number of below 50.
Epidemiologists are now predicting Victoria's 14-day average will dip below five cases a day within a fortnight – opening a window of opportunity for Melbourne to be reopened.
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The state is currently operating under a strict road map that doesn't suggest the city will be freed until October 26, with a caveat on new case numbers.
However, Andrews suggested for the first time yesterday that this is no longer set in stone.
"We will always be guided by those three things: the evidence and the science, the data and what is deemed safe," the Premier said. "We are on schedule. We may even be a bit ahead of schedule, but we've got to keep going."
Now it is understood the government could abandon the October 26 date if the cases target is met and it is deemed safe to do so.
It would mean public gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed, shops would be able to reopen, restaurants could offer outdoor dining and the curfew would come to an end.
Yesterday, Victoria recorded just 14 new cases — the lowest number in three months — with the 14-day average dropping to just 38.4.