Regional Victoria will take the ‘Third Step’ out of coronavirus restrictions from 11.59pm tomorrow night, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced, indicating a welcome reprieve for communities outside of Melbourne.

Good bloody gear.

“That is a massive – it’s a massive thing,” Andrews told reporters in Melbourne this morning.

“It is such good news, I am so, so pleased and proud of every single regional Victorian who has stayed the course, followed the rules, got tested. They’ve done an amazing job.”

It’s a big move. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the ‘Third Step’ for regional Victoria means there will be no curfew, nor restrictions on reasons to leave the home.

On top of that, outdoor gatherings of up to ten are permitted, plus restaurants will be allowed to provide “predominantly outdoor” table service again (with patron density limits in place, but still).

The easing restrictions will also permit the introduction of a ‘household bubble’, where folks can welcome up to five people from a nominated home into their own. That doesn’t mean wild ragers out the back of Bendigo, but it does mean more quality, Zoom-free time with mates.

Andrews said the decision was triggered by two key factors: the daily average number of coronavirus cases in regional Victoria has dropped below five over a 14-day span, and there have been zero cases with an unknown source over the same time period.

“Regional Victoria will be opening up in the next 24 hours or so,” he added.

Grouse.

Image: Daniel Pockett / Getty Images