Victorian health authorities will be hoping to ease restrictions back to where they were pre-Christmas as early as the middle of this month, if certain requirements are met.

Authorities are hoping to see case numbers linked to the still-growing Black Rock cluster drop back down to zero by this weekend.

However, the true test is expected to then come once it is known how many new cases emerge in Victorians returning from over the border in New South Wales.

The state’s COVID-19 response strategy would then see Victoria return to pre-cluster restrictions, so long as it records consecutive days without any new cases of the deadly virus confirmed.

Restrictions eased would likely include raising the number of people permitted at private gatherings and easing requirements around mask wearing.

However, lengthy delays at testing sites around the state could yet stand in the way of further suppression of the virus.

Over 60,000 Victorians have been told to get tested after returning from NSW when the border closed over the new year period.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The returning Victorians, coupled with the growing list of exposed locations has meant that many are now being turned away from the state’s inundated testing sites.

Over 32,000 tests were reported to have been undertaken over the past 24 hours, with health authorities confirming 3 new cases of community transmission in the state. There are now 36 active cases of the coronavirus in Victoria.