Victoria has followed up its first day of zero daily coronavirus cases since June 9 with another 24-hour period of no new cases on Tuesday.
It is the first time since March 6 – at the beginning of the nation’s first wave – that Victoria has had two days in a row without any cases.
The significant drop in daily cases on Monday after a weekend with a combined 14 new cases led to Premier Daniel Andrews committing to the key changes in Step Three of Melbourne’s roadmap from Wednesday.
“Now is the time to open up,” an emotional Mr Andrews told reporters as he gave the green light for the city’s famed but badly-depleted hospitality industry to reopen.
For the eighth consecutive day, the Department of Health and Human Services announced zero deaths in the previous 24 hours.
The state’s death toll remains at 817.
Metropolitan Melbourne’s 14-day rolling average has dropped to 2.8 while mystery cases over a two-week period have fallen to six.
The corresponding figures for regional Victoria are 0.2 and none.
Further announcement expected Tuesday
Mr Andrews will reveal the final piece of his latest reopening puzzle on Tuesday.
There was a notable absence from Melbourne's long list of easing lockdown rules on Monday, with authorities still pondering home visits for family and friends.
Mr Andrews assured Melburnians they would be able to visit homes with more freedom in line with other rule changes from 11.59pm on Tuesday, but wanted to mull over the final decision overnight.
"We do not want to do a bubble because we think that can be a particularly confusing set of arrangements for families, but we have not quite settled on it," he told reporters on Monday.
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