Victoria is slowly emerging from its COVID-19 battle, which has seen hundreds of deaths and a strict lockdown imposed, including an 8pm curfew.

In the most positive sign for months, Premier Daniel Andrews announced pubs and restaurants in regional Victoria might reopen for outdoor dining and home visits sometime this week.

Melbourne people will have to wait until September 28 for an easing of their restrictions, which keep them at home unless at an exempted workplace, shopping or exercising within a 5km radius of their residential address.

Victoria recorded 45 news cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and no deaths, reflecting a steady fall from the peaks of 6 weeks ago. By comparison, NSW has reported 4 cases for the last 24 hours, but authorities continue to micro-manage outbreaks across Sydney.

As Europe is struck by a new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks and nations there go back into hard lockdowns, it’s clear that once the hard lockdown in Victoria ends we’re not going to be going back to ‘normal’ but will need to achieve a careful balance to ensure any further outbreaks can be readily and rigorously contained.

We’ve said it before and here it is again – reach out to your Victorian mates and help them get through the last couple of weeks of their very hard lockdown.