Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has confirmed what the city has waited to hear for months: it’s time to get back on the beers. But in his case, he’ll be reaching for something stronger.

Speaking in Melbourne this afternoon, Andrews confirmed the city will take decisive steps out of coronavirus lockdown restrictions from midnight Tuesday.

Retail and hospitality businesses are slated to reopen after months of restricted trade, meaning that Melbourne’s pubs will soon welcome the city’s thirstiest punters.

Eligible watering holes will be permitted to serve up to 50 patrons in outdoors areas, with 20 inside. All venues looking to throw their doors open must adhere to patron density limits, keep a register of visitors, and enact their COVIDSafe plans.

After outlining those expansive changes, a reporter called back to Andrews’ statement from earlier this year that it was nearly time to “get on the beers.”

Her question: “Are you confirming that what you are saying is that we can finally get back on the beers?”

“I don’t know that I’ll be drinking a beer tonight,” Andrews said, cracking a rare smile from the press conference stage.

“I might go a little higher up the shelf.”

The pronouncement comes just hours after Victoria registered zero new coronavirus cases and no further deaths due to COVID-19. It’s the first time the state has counted no new cases since early June.

Melbourne was quick to call it Donut Day, in honour of those two sweet little zeroes. But Andrews’ conference has given another the day another meaning: today is the first day in a long, long time where sipping a beer in the pub is an imminent possibility.

Image: Darrian Traynor / Getty Images