Victoria continues downward trend with just 11 new coronavirus cases and two deaths

Victoria has recorded just 11 new coronavirus cases and two new deaths in the past 24 hours.

The number of new infections is the lowest reported since 16 June, near the beginning of the state’s second wave.

The 14-day rolling average of cases in Metropolitan Melbourne fell to 34.4 cases, well below the 50 case threshold required for the state to move to the second step of the re-opening roadmap.

On Sunday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said Melburnians should be optimistic after the state recorded just 14 new infections.

Mr Andrews declared the result a “cause for great optimism and positivity right across metropolitan Melbourne”.

“That is proof positive beyond any question that this strategy is working,” he said on Sunday.

The downward trend in infections has raised hopes among some residents that Metropolitan Melbourne could exit its lockdown ahead of schedule.

Under the roadmap, a small number of measures are due to be relaxed on 28 September, with the curfew and restrictions of movement to be lifted no earlier than 26 October.

Mr Andrews said the path towards easing rules would be constantly reviewed, but he’s standing by his “safe and steady” approach.

“There’s no good opening up too early. There’s no good letting our frustrations get the better of us,” he said.

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“All that will mean is that everything metropolitan Melbourne has given, everything that everyone has done to produce these low, but still not low enough, numbers will count for nothing.”

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth welcomed the Victorian’s government openness to reviewing the timelines.

“But we need to keep in mind that there’s still a way to go,” he told the ABC.

“When Victorians come out of restrictions, particularly in Melbourne, the complacency has to be avoided.”

Optimism has risen among Melbourne small businesses, with a survey showing 35 per cent now believe the Victorian economy will be better in one year’s time.

That compares with just 17 per cent in August believing the state’s economy will improve by then, the Sensis Business Index shows.

More also think the national economy will mend, with 26 per cent saying it will be better in a year compared with 14 per cent last month.

Metropolitan Melbourne residents are subject to Stage 4 restrictions and must comply with a curfew between the hours of 9pm and 5am.

During the curfew, people in Melbourne can only leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.

Between 5am and 9pm, people in Melbourne can leave the home for exercise, to shop for necessary goods and services, for work, for health care, or to care for a sick or elderly relative. The full list of restrictions can be found here.

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All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live. 

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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