Regional Victoria edges towards the easing of virus restrictions.
Regional Victoria could be just days away from having COVID-19 restrictions wound back.
The state's coronavirus death toll surpassed 700 on Thursday but, with just 72 active cases and its fortnightly daily average sitting at 4.5, Premier Daniel Andrews said regional restrictions could be eased by late next week.
"Regional Victoria are quite close to being able to take perhaps not just one step, but two," he said.
The premier, meanwhile, is refusing to budge on Melbourne's lockdown curfew, despite a second senior official distancing himself from the controversial measure.
Victoria's police boss Shane Patton revealed the force never requested the introduction of the curfew, two days after Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said it wasn't his recommendation.
But Mr Andrews continues to staunchly defend it, saying the measure helps make Victoria Police's job easier.
The government is already under fire for its botched hotel quarantine program and much-maligned contact tracing efforts, while the newly announced COVID-19 roadmap has also sharply divided opinion.
A new survey, published on Friday, found Mr Andrews' satisfaction rating among health workers has plummeted since the second wave hit.
The survey conducted by TKW Research found just 58 per cent of 300 frontline health workers were satisfied with his handling of the pandemic, down from 86 per cent in April.