Andrews rejects pressure to open Victoria
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has rejected federal pressure to ramp up the easing of COVID-19 restrictions as Melburnians eagerly await regaining some freedoms this weekend.
The state on Saturday reported one further case and no deaths, which Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton described as a "remarkable achievement".
The statistics show the 14-day rolling average of new cases up to Friday stands at 8.1 for metropolitan Melbourne and 0.5 for regional areas.
Federal health minister Greg Hunt urged the Victorian government to ease restrictions in line with NSW.
"The epidemiological conditions for a COVID-safe reopening of hospitality, movement (and) family reunions among others, have now been firmly met," Mr Hunt posted on Twitter on Saturday.
"Victoria should now be able to move to the next step in line (with) NSW."
However Mr Andrews said Mr Hunt was not an epidemiologist and accused him of "playing games", before adding that he would not be rushed in reopening Victoria.
"Everything that's been done, everything that's been given needs to count for something," Mr Andrews told reporters on Saturday.
"We are not going to risk everything that Victorians have sacrificed. And that's why this strategy is not about racing to open up (and) running to COVID-normal - it's about safe and steady steps.
"We are right on the edge now of defeating this second wave. It's not occurred in many countries, if any, across the world."
Mr Andrews also lashed out at the fact federal trans-Tasman bubble travellers had managed to reach his state withn a day of its launch.
Seventeen New Zealanders landed in Sydney on Friday then flew on to Melbourne despite Victoria not being part of the quarantine-free arrangement.
However acting immigration minister Alan Tudge dismissed Mr Andrews' complaints as a distraction from the business of delivering social and economic normality.
Melbourne residents are expecting restrictions to be eased on Sunday but it is unclear how much freedom will be regained.
Mr Andrews has confirmed Sunday's announcements will be "much more in the social space than in the economic space", dashing the hopes of those in retail and hospitality industries.
Health authorities continue to investigate Victoria's 17 cases for the fortnight up to Wednesday which have no known source.
Victoria's death toll remains at 816 and the national tally is 904.
© AAP 2020
IMAGE CREDIT: Swinburne University of Technology (swinburneuniversityoftechnology) on Flickr, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons