Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has asserted that Melbourne is poised to take “significant” steps out of lockdown from this Sunday, with COVID numbers across the state taking a sudden nosedive across the past 48 hours.

The entire state of Victoria recorded just two new cases of COVID-19 across the past 24 hours, following on from a total of six new cases recorded in the 24 hours preceding that. The state’s total number of active cases also continues to fall, with the current total now down to 157 active cases remaining in the state.

In response, Andrews has given the clearest indication yet that lockdown restrictions across Melbourne will be significantly eased. Those announcements are scheduled to be made by Andrews in a press conference on Sunday.

Fronting media a short time ago, Andrews stated that while Melbourne will not be fully moving to the previously outlined Step Three on the Victorian Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, there will nonetheless be a large step taken towards that.

“We are well-placed to take significant steps on Sunday,” Andrews asserted. “It will not be everything that everyone wants, because it’s not safe to take all of those steps that were outlined in stage three. But on Sunday are very much look forward to giving people a sense of what the coming weeks look like an it is fair to say that if these numbers continue, then we are very well placed to be broadly in alignment with our foreshadowed stage three.”

Andrews also stated, however, that the restrictions to be eased have not been locked in as of yet, and won’t be concrete until Sunday. “Sunday gives us two more days of data than if we were to make announcements today,” he stated.

Step Three on the roadmap, which is set to trigger in-full when Metro Melbourne achieves a rolling 14-day average of less than five new cases per day, will see the 5km travel bubble lifted. Groups of 10 people will be permitted to gather outside, while people can form a “household bubble” with one other house, allowing a maximum of 5 people to gather inside a residential property. Hospitality businesses such as pubs and cafes would also be permitted to reopen for outdoor seated service only.

What lengths Sunday’s announcements go towards that remain to be seen at this point. But it appears pretty likely that Melbourne is finally, at long-ass last, on the way out of things

Image: Getty Images / Quinn Rooney