Victorians set to learn of virus roadmap

Daniel Andrews says a plan for Victoria's future COVID restrictions will be announced on Sunday.
Daniel Andrews says a plan for Victoria's future COVID restrictions will be announced on Sunday.

Lockdown-weary Victorians have had a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel, without any illumination on when it will happen.

The state government has announced its "reopening roadmap" - the plan for the easing of Melbourne's stage-four coronavirus restrictions and Victoria's stage-three measures - will be unveiled on Sunday.

Significantly, there is still no confirmation on whether those restrictions will end on September 13.

Premier Daniel Andrews' announcement about Sunday came as Australia had its worst daily death toll - although the number was not what it seemed.

Monday's 41 deaths easily eclipsed the previous mark of 25 on August 17.

But the premier said only eight of the deaths were new - the rest were aged care fatalities that had happened before August 27 and were reconciled with the Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday.

Overall, Victoria's virus statistics continue to trend well, with Monday's 73 new cases the lowest figure since July 3.

Even so, Mr Andrews continues to give no guarantee that the restrictions' due date of September 13 is when they will be eased.

"We can't rule out settings in two weeks time. It is very difficult to know what those settings will be," the premier said.

"What we will provide on Sunday will be the plan that we intend to put in place, the plan that, all things being equal, we will put in place.

"Everything has to have that asterisk next to it. I know that is deeply frustrating. It is frustrating for all of us."

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton also urged Victorians to stay the course.

"We are all fed up with it, absolutely fed up with it," Professor Sutton said.

"But holding the course, even as we get down to these very low numbers, is absolutely critical to get that control that we can be confident that we will maintain."

He hopes new case numbers will be down to 40-50 by the end of the week.

Earlier on Monday, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said it was difficult to see Melbourne coming out of its stage four restrictions on September 13, given the current numbers.

He said Victoria needed to be down near the lower numbers of NSW and Queensland.

"But then again, the rate the number is (decreasing) is getting faster in Victoria, so you never know and we just have to look at it on a daily basis," he said.

Apart from the daily case numbers, Prof Sutton said it was also critical for the so-called "mystery" community transmission cases to be reduced as low as possible.

Mr Andrews said the government would use the next few days to consult with industry, unions and community organisations about how "covid normal" will look ahead of Sunday's announcement.

Meanwhile, Victoria's Police Association, nurses, paramedics and the Australian Medical Association have all called for state of emergency powers to be extended.

Negotiations continue between the state government and crossbenchers over what should happen when the state of emergency provisions expire on September 13.

The government wants 12 months, but that is doomed ahead of parliament voting on the amendment when it returns on Tuesday.

Former factional Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek will abstain from voting on any bills until a corruption watchdog probe is finalised over branch-stacking allegations.

Asked if he was disappointed with the sacked MPs' decision, Mr Andrews said he was "long past being disappointed with Adem Somyurek".

Melbourne is subject to another fortnight of strict stage four restrictions, including an 8pm to 5am curfew and a ban on travelling beyond a five-kilometre radius of home.

Regional Victoria is under slightly less strict stage three restrictions.

Australian Associated Press