Australia

Victoria records 14 new cases as Premier Daniel Andrews offers hope for October roadmap

Healthcare workers are seen at a drive through pop up coronavirus testing facility in Clyde, Melbourne. Source: AAP

Victoria has had eight virus fatalities - taking the state death toll to 781 and the national figure to 869 - and recorded 14 new cases of coronavirus.

Melbourne's roadmap next month could be brought forward as key coronavirus numbers continue to fall ahead of schedule.

While Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews stresses there will be no big changes to the restrictions next Monday, he offered hope on Friday that the 26 October plan might happen quicker.

While Victoria had eight more deaths on Friday, there were only 14 new cases.

The deaths take the national toll to 781 and the national figure to 869.

Melbourne's 14-day case average fell again on Friday to 25.1.

It is only 0.8 in regional Victoria.

Melbourne's cases with an unknown source are 34 for 9-22 September and there are none in the regional areas.

Under the state government's roadmap, Melbourne's new case average needs to be between 30 and 50 for the city for some restrictions to be eased next Monday.

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Mr Andrews will confirm the revised rules on Sunday.

"The roadmap never envisaged really significant steps at the 28th - but we are on track, the strategy is working," the premier said.

"I do hope to be able to talk a little bit more about how I think October will unfold and maybe give people some clarity around, because we are ahead of schedule, what might be possible.

"Again, (that is) always subject to the case numbers.

"What might be possible in the next month, as we move towards that next trigger point, that may be able to occur sooner."

Under the metropolitan Melbourne roadmap announced on 6 September, proposed changes for Monday include a staged return to school for some students and an allowance for pubic gatherings of five people from two households.

Mr Andrews said the figures were still "too much" to skip to "step three" a month early.

He expects the state government and health authorities to settle on the new rules on Saturday night before publicly confirming the package.

Mr Andrews spoke the media on Friday morning, a couple of hours before he fronts the hotels quarantine inquiry.

Also on Friday, the state government announced more support for senior school students whose study has been impacted by the coronavirus restrictions.

VCAL students certificates will have special consideration to help them finish their study, while anyone unable to finish VET qualifications will have guaranteed enrolment at an institution such as a TAFE.

The measures come after the Andrews government announced support early last month for VCE students.

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.

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.

News and information is available in 63 languages at https://sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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