Australia's second-wave epicentre records zero new virus cases

Melbourne's lockdown restrictions will be eased from midnight tonight. Source Getty

Victoria's second wave peaked on August 5, with 725 new cases reported that day.

It comes after Victoria recorded no new cases on Monday - the first time in 139 days. "We've been closed for 61 percent of the year, so we're pretty keen - we want to get into it straight away".

Premier Daniel Andrews said the two fatalities, a man in his 70s and another in his 80s, happened "some weeks ago" and are related to aged care.

"We're still hearing a lot of concerns from hospitality that the rules, in some cases, just aren't workable".

"It gives us great confidence that these numbers are an accurate picture of how much virus is out there", he told a press conference.

It came as Premier Daniel Andrews outlined new rules for home visits which were curtailed throughout Victoria's devastating second wave, making it hard for people to see family and friends.

Premier Daniel Andrews reported 24,673 tests, understood to be the highest daily figure for Victoria since 4 September.

Australia's Covid-19 restrictions have pushed its economy into its first recession in three decades, triggered after large swathes of the economy were shut to slow the spread of the virus.

Chin Chin Melbourne restaurant owner Chris Lucas prepares to reopen with the help of Stephen Giderson from Whizz Cleaning.

But for now, the state remains cut off from the rest of Australia, which overall has recorded about 27,500 cases and 905 deaths in a population of 25 million.

Beauty salons and retail stores will also be permitted to welcome back customers from midnight, but gyms will be forced to wait until November 8.

"If we're going to have that Ring of Steel gone on November 8 and we're going to have people from Melbourne travelling into regional Victoria and vice versa, masks need to be with us across the whole state", Andrews said.



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