Victorians have received promising news as they eye more freedoms on Thursday, with no fresh coronavirus infections reported.
State health authorities confirmed zero new cases in the community on Thursday morning, from 25,635 COVID tests.
It comes amid a worrying outbreak in an apartment complex at Southbank, in inner-Melbourne, which has forced hundreds of residents into self-isolation, with boosted testing across the development.
That cluster remains at eight, including one infant. Victoria has 54 active COVID cases.
“While that’s very, very encouraging, everything that we said yesterday still stands. We are not out of this,” Acting Premier James Merlino said on Thursday.
There have also been concerns about a case reported on Wednesday in a vaccinated nurse. She has worked at Epping Private Hospital, in Melbourne’s north, where three COVID-positive Arcare Maidstone aged-care residents were previously transferred.
Mr Merlino said public health authorities had “worked throughout the day and night building a strong response around that outbreak”. More details will be available later on Thursday.
On Wednesday night, health authorities listed more than a dozen new exposure sites across suburban Brunswick and Pascoe Vale and the Crown Casino complex in the city.
Anyone who watched the movie Cruella at Crown’s Village Cinemas on June 12 at 7.30pm has been told to quarantine for 14 days.
At 11.59pm on Thursday, there will be another round of relaxed COVID-19 rules across Victoria, as its “circuit-breaker lockdown” is slowly stepped back.
Chief health officer Brett Sutton said on Wednesday he knew Victorians were fed up with the pandemic but urged them to follow the state’s latest COVID-19 restrictions.
Under changes from midnight, Melbourne residents will be able to travel to regional Victoria with the removal of the 25-kilometre bubble, host two adult visitors plus dependents per day and gather outdoors in groups of 20.
Masks will remain mandatory indoors, but will be required outdoors only when social distancing is not possible.
Businesses such as gyms and indoor entertainment venues will be able to reopen, while density limits at offices, cafes, restaurants and pubs will increase.
In regional Victoria, the home visit cap will increase to five adults plus their dependents per day, while up to 50 people can gather outdoors.
Mr Merlino has said measures will be further relaxed late next week, if COVID-19 cases continue to remain low.
“We have to ease in a way that is safe, and we are making positive progress,” he said on Wednesday.