Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has conceded the lofty benchmarks on the government's road map out of restrictions are almost impossible to meet with more relief for regional areas almost certain to be revealed on Sunday.
Mr Andrews said on Monday a "step three plus" for country and "step three minus" for city scenario is under consideration as the state's coronavirus daily cases remain in double figures with 15 recorded in the lat 24 hours.
"The best public health advice says those targets can be achieved, but the question will become over what period," he said.
"It may get to a point where all of our advice is this is as good as it is going to get.
"Six and a half or seven weeks ago we had 725 cases and it's not 25 cases it's 15 today.
"We've achieved an awful lot, (but) it's that stubborn tail, those last few cases, one outbreak, two outbreaks.
"It just gets very tough to get where we had hoped to be."
Andy Meddick saying that rural & regional Victorians should NOT expect everyone at a checkpoint to be stopped. People shouldn't have to wait in a queue. We have 1 bloody checkpoint on the Hume, stop everyone or don't do it at all. This is a Government initiative, reinforce it!— Tania Maxwell Member for Northern Victoria (@TaniaMaxwell14) October 12, 2020
The step three rules in regional Victoria are still tougher than the stage two restrictions which were in place during the two lockdowns including harsher dining limits on pubs, cafes and restaurants.
A further easing of restrictions in country areas raises hopes gyms and outdoor public pools may re-open.
Member for Benambra Bill Tilley said Mr Andrews had finally realised his targets were too ambitious.
"Zero cases for 14 days statewide seems nonsensical for regional Victoria and particularly the North-East that has seen next to no COVID," he said.
"I'm not sure if it's arrogance or ignorance with the city-centric decision making that continues to drag regional Victoria back to the lowest common denominator that is Melbourne.
"Our cafes, restaurants and pubs should have greater capacity; our dance studios should be open along with gyms and other activities; we should be living with the threat and getting on with it."
Mr Andrews said with easing of restrictions came added pressures on the community.
"We all have to try and take responsibility for the decisions we make in the weeks and months ahead because that will directly affect how quickly we open, if we can stay open, how many people will get sick," he said.