National News

Melbourne stays 'on track', says Andrews

Melbourne is "absolutely on track" to have its coronavirus restrictions eased next Monday, despite Victorian new cases jumping to 28.

It is a sharp increase on Monday's 11 cases, the lowest figure since June 16, but Melbourne's crucial 14-day new case average has dropped again to 32.8.

In the state government's roadmap, that figure has to be between 30 and 50 for authorities to consider a further easing of Melbourne's strict stage-four lockdown provisions.

"That (32.8) is absolutely on track for us to be able to take a step on the 28th," Premier Daniel Andrews.

But he added no final decision would be taken until the weekend, with any confirmation likely to come on Sunday.

"Sunday is some days off. That isn't settled," the premier said.

"It will be a very long Saturday and a very late Saturday night."

Some Melbourne measures were eased on September 14, with the night curfew pushed back by an hour, and a second hour of outdoor exercise allowed each day.

Under the roadmap's September 28 changes, public gathering would be allowed for five people from two households.

Schools, childcare and some workplaces would open, along with outdoor pools, while personal trainers could operate with two clients.

There could be outdoor religious services for up to five people, plus a leader.

Meanwhile, the premier announced three of Melbourne's five contact tracing hubs would open in the coming days.

Western Health (west), Austin Health (north-east) and Monash Health (south-east) would be the leads for the hubs, which were announced on September 8.

Mr Andrews said Monash Health had already done "amazing work" managing the Casey cluster linked to seven households in Melbourne's outer south-east.

There have been no new cases in that cluster of 43 for two days.

But it was revealed on Tuesday a cluster in June and July of 27 cases was linked to a Hallam gym, also in Melbourne's outer south-east.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said gyms remain a big virus concern for authorities.

Three Victorian deaths were announced on Tuesday, taking the state toll to 766 and the national figure to 854.

The number of people hospitalised by the virus is down to 83, with eight in ICU and five of those on ventilators.

On Tuesday the state government announced $30 million in upgrades for Victoria's public aged care sector, with the money to be spent on facilities in Melbourne and across the state.

There was some good news for Mr Andrews, with a Newspoll showing a majority of Victorians back his handling of the state's second wave.

© AAP 2020