Melbourne's next phase of the roadmap out of lockdown will not be implemented as fast as first hoped.
The city was due to join regional Victoria at the third stage of the government's 'reopening roadmap' on October 19. However, with the state's daily case numbers in the double digits for the past four days, it is looking likely that metropolitan Melbourne's lockdown will instead be extended once again.
For Melbourne to move to the third stage of the government's roadmap, they must meet the threshold of an average of fewer than five cases per day, and less than five mystery cases in the preceding fortnight.
The current average of new cases over a 14-day period is at 9.3, as of October 11. It comes as the state recorded 12 new cases on Sunday, and one more death from the coronavirus pandemic.
Clusters have emerged of community transmission, producing majority of new cases, at Chadstone Shopping Centre, a cafe in Kilmore and Box Hill.
On Saturday, Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that given the persistent "tail" of infections from the second wave, the city would ease restrictions slower than he had expected.
On Sunday, Andrews extended the state of emergency and state of disaster from tonight to 11:59pm on November 8.
"That is simply to make sure that we've got that legal framework in place in order to continue to have rules, to drive these numbers down even further. That's simply a 4-week extension," Andrews explained.
The premier called on people not to lose hope or to pretend that the fight was over, and offered the assurance that some restrictions may still lift. Melbourne has been under 'stay at home' restrictions for over three months now, since July 8.
"We always want these numbers lower, faster," Andres said on Saturday.
"We've just got to be as stubborn as this virus. We will beat this second wave, but we've got to do it properly."
Asked about the seeming impossibility of eradicating community transmission in a city of five million, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said he was optimistic.
"It's all of the immediate responses to clusters, and if you can get on top of each of those and wrap the public health response around each and every one of those, then you end those chains of transmission and they're gone forever," he told reporters.