Look, don’t hold your breath or anything. Take this with a big grain of salt. Touch all the wood you need to before reading this. But if reports circulating this morning are correct, Melbourne might well be poised to come out of lockdown this coming Friday after a full fortnight of hard restrictions.

Victoria recorded just two new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, after yesterday’s rather shock tally of 11. The Department of Health has confirmed that both today’s new cases are linked to current, known outbreaks, and do not constitute mystery cases that are the main cause for great concern.

That follows on from yesterday’s tally, which despite being comparatively high, were also all linked to known outbreaks. Eight of the cases were also already isolating as primary close contacts of previous positive cases.

Despite not achieving the vaunted “doughnut days” which provided much of the backbone for Victoria’s big lockdown in 2020 to end, this somewhat controlled outbreak is still a positive sign. And it seemingly points towards the current lockdown coming to an end as the clock ticks over to Friday.

Per the Herald Sun, senior officials within the Victorian Government are confident that lockdown will end – barring unforeseen catastrophe – and that Melbourne will move to some version of the eased restrictions that regional Victoria shifted to last week.

That would mean things like mandatory face masks in indoor settings, but not outdoors, as well as permitting small indoor and outdoor private gatherings, and allowing hospitality businesses to re-open with restricted capacity. The 10km travel bubble is also expected to go, along with the five key reasons for leaving home.

The current lockdown extension is due to expire at 11:59pm on Thursday, with Acting Premier James Merlino to confirm any easing of restrictions later in the week.

Speaking at yesterday’s daily press conference after confirming the 11 case count, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton stated “I can’t tell you what an alternative universe would look like if we hadn’t locked down, [but] if you had the opportunity for a number of people to come to your household every day over the last 10 days, then it might look very different.”

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