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With Victoria's low COVID numbers, will the lockdown end sooner than September 28?

Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews arrives for a press conference in Melbourne. Source: AAP Image/James Ross

Debate over when and how to re-open the Victorian economy is intensifying as the state has registered its lowest level of fresh COVID-19 infections in three months.

The coronavirus figures in Victoria continue to improve with the state detecting 15 new cases today.

The average number of new cases over the last 14 days in metropolitan Melbourne is now down to 29.4.

It needs to stay well below 50 for the government to allow a further easing of restrictions at the end of the month.  

Premier Daniel Andrews says the statistics show his government's measures are effective.

"This strategy is working. These numbers are coming down. We are, thanks to the hard work of every single Victorian, the vast, vast majority of Victorians who are following the rules, doing the right thing, getting tested as soon as they have symptoms... that's why we are seeing these numbers come down. And that's why we will continue to see them come down, in accordance with our roadmap to COVID-normal," said Mr Andrews.

The declines in the case numbers have led to further calls for the restrictions to be eased sooner but Mr Andrews says doing that would ultimately prove counterproductive. 

The government has announced another new measure aimed at trying to keep part of the economy afloat.

It will provide $13 million in grants to live music venues of varying sizes to support both on-stage and backstage jobs.

Arts Minister Martin Foley says the government wants to ensure the sector survives the pandemic so that venues can re-open with COVID-safe plans in place.  

"106 live music venues in an initial tranche will receive support to keep their businesses going from very small venues to venues of over a thousand people," said Mr Foley.

There were another five deaths in Victoria taking the state's toll to 771. 

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 meters away from others. Find out what restrictions are in place for your state or territory.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at http://www.sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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