Premier Daniel Andrews has announced regional Victoria is on track to ease coronavirus restrictions in a matter of days as cases across the state continue to plummet.
Victoria marked its ninth day in a row of double digit figures on Saturday with just 37 new coronavirus cases - its lowest daily increase since June 26.
The promising decline in cases comes after Victoria saw 43 new cases on Friday, 51 on Thursday and 76 on Wednesday.
The state also reported six additional fatalities, taking the state death toll to 716 and the national figure to 803.
Mr Andrews said there are only 58 active coronavirus infections in regional Victoria and no new cases since Friday's update.
He remains hopeful the Stage Three restrictions will be eased by the middle of next week, allowing regional Victoria to be 'essentially open'.
'Regional Victoria remains on track to be open to take not one but two steps,' Mr Andrews said on Saturday.
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced regional Victoria is on track to ease coronavirus restrictions in a matter of days
'That is proof positive to every single Victorian that we can drive these numbers down and we can open up and do it safely.
'I want to congratulate and thank every single regional Victoria for the part they are playing on that.'
Mr Andrews said 14-day new case average dropped to 61.6 in metropolitian Melbourne and 4.3 in regional Victoria.
'It is very good news for regional Victoria and I hope every single person in metro Melbourne is looking to the numbers in regional Victoria and seeing what can be delivered,' the premier said.
'Regional Victoria is so close, just a few days and they will potentially be able to take not just a single step but two of those steps and be essentially open.'
The premier also clarified some of the restrictions announced as part of his roadmap out of lockdown.
When Melbourne enters their second step, pet groomers will be able to provide contactless service to their animals.
'Pet owners will be able to drop off their pets to the venue,' he said.
Following further consideration, Mr Andrews said Beauty and personal services where a mask can be worn the whole time will be allowed to proceed in the step three alongside hairdressers.
Duty and personal services were previously listed to open up in Melbourne under the last step of the roadmap.
Victoria has recorded 37 new coronavirus cases and six deaths. Pictured: Melburnians exercise on Friday
It comes as Paul Little, the chairman of the state government's own COVID-19 Advisory Group, said the state's coronavirus restrictions created 'unintended consequences'.
'Most of the industry and community contacts I have spoken to recently agree that using a 'blunt tool' of minimising social interaction throughout Victoria has created many unintended consequences,' he told AFR Weekend.
Mr Little's role involves supplying 'real time intelligence from key community and business sectors' to the government's strategic decision makers.
He warned small businesses are likely to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 lockdown.
'Currently within Victoria, the small to medium enterprises (SME) sector is under severe pressure and many of these businesses will not resume operations when lifting of restrictions occurs as per the road map,' he said.
Mr Little said the announcement of Victoria's roadmap last Sunday meant the government needed to urgently address high risk COVID-19 transmission areas, while identifying and relaxing rules in lower risk locations.
A man and a woman go for a walk during lockdown in Williamstown in Melbourne on Friday
Top QC Michael Wyles has also questioned the validity of the coronavirus curfew imposed on Melbourne by Premier Daniel Andrews.
Mr Wyles said the 8pm to 5am curfew, brought in as part of the city's Stage Four restrictions, had not been authorised under state law.
'There is no legal basis for the curfew,' he told The Australian.
Legislation allows health officials to make emergency orders to protect the public but Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has revealed he did not seek the curfew.
Premier Andrews instead said the restriction had been 'about enforcement'.
Mr Wyles' pointed out the potential flaw in the curfew as assisting law enforcement was not a valid reason to enact emergency health orders.
'It is invalid and everyone can ignore it because the direction is not, according to what Sutton said yesterday, for the purpose of eliminating or reducing the risk of COVID,' Mr Wyles said.
Pictured: People in face masks are seen walking through Melbourne's CBD on Wednesday
The number of fresh diagnoses on Saturday continued