Regional Victoria will advance to 'third step' of the roadmap to recovery at midnight on Wednesday.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the news on Tuesday morning, as case numbers continue to decline in the regions.
There are now 43 active cases in regional local government areas. No new cases were reported today.
Regional Victoria met the two benchmarks needed to progress to the next step today, and allow for a further easing of restrictions.
The 14-day new case average is 3.6, well below the threshold of five. There has also not been a mystery case reported in the regions since September 1.
Premier Daniel Andrews said this was a "massive" step forward.
"I am absolutely delighted to be able to announce that regional Victoria from 11:59pm tomorrow night we'll be able to take the third step in our safe and steady roadmap to COVID Normal," he said.
"It's a massive thing, it is such good news. I'm so so pleased and proud of every single regional Victorian who has stayed the course, follow the rules, and got tested. They've done an amazing job.
"I know it hasn't been easy because there have been many communities where to the best of our knowledge there has not been virus. But you've always got to be conservative, you've always got to be cautious."
MAKING NEWS ACROSS THE NORTHERN GRAMPIANS:
Under the third step, regional Victorians will be granted more social freedoms, though some businesses are still likely to be severely impacted.
Travel restrictions within regional Victoria will be eased, reasons to leave the home removed and larger outdoor gatherings allowed.
In the third step, people are allowed to have up to five visitors in their home, although they must be from one household that has been nominated as a 'household bubble'. This 'household bubble' cannot change. Infants under 12 months are not included in the five-person limit.
The state reported 42 new coronavirus cases today, and no deaths.
It it the first time Victoria's death toll has not increased in two months.
In essence, regional Victorians will have wait for things to settle down in metropolitan Melbourne before progressing any further on the roadmap.
In order to advance to the 'fourth step' or 'last step', there will need to be no new cases throughout the whole of Victoria.
Also, under the roadmap, Victoria will not be able to advance before November 23. Though, both the Premier and the Chief Health Officer have said this date could be reviewed.
Under the fourth step, more businesses will be able to open their doors and there will be less restrictions on social gatherings.
Premier Daniel Andrews is still speaking. We'll update this story as the press conference progresses.
The Stawell Times-News has removed the paywall from our stories relating to health warnings and safety of the community. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Stawell Times-News. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the region, sign up here.