Victoria’s daily infections have dropped again, falling below 50 on Friday.
The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed 43 new cases and a further nine deaths.
It follows 51 new cases and seven deaths on Thursday.
Friday’s infections are the second-lowest daily increase since the peak of the second wave, only bettered by Monday’s 41.
The state’s death toll now stands at 710.
With just 72 active cases and its fortnightly daily average sitting at 4.5, Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday regional restrictions could be eased by late next week.
"Regional Victoria are quite close to being able to take perhaps not just one step, but two," he said.
Metropolitan Melbourne’s 14-day daily average now stands at 65.3. The city needs an average lower than 50 to progress to the next step of the roadmap.
Premier stands by curfew
Mr Andrews is refusing to budge on Melbourne's lockdown curfew, despite a second senior official distancing himself from the controversial measure.
Victoria's police boss Shane Patton revealed the force never requested the introduction of the curfew, two days after chief health officer Brett Sutton said it wasn't his recommendation.
But Mr Andrews continues to staunchly defend it, saying the measure helps make Victoria Police's job easier.
He said the only people the curfew would be affecting is late night shoppers or those wanting to go for a run in the middle of the night.
The government is already under fire for its botched hotel quarantine program and much-maligned contact tracing efforts, while the newly-announced COVID-19 roadmap has also sharply divided opinion.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.