There isn't a magic case number that will prompt the opening of the Victorian border with NSW, according to Premier Daniel Andrews.
Just a day after he flagged a possible announcement could come as early as next week, the Victorian leader said there is a "spreadsheet" full of numbers the public health team will look at before making a decision and providing him advice to reopen.
And while NSW only recorded four new coronavirus cases on Friday, Mr Andrews said the decision comes down to the state as a whole.
"It is hard for me to predict what I will be announcing next week but I will put it to you this way, I will hope, and what I am working towards, and what I absolutely want to be able to say sometime next week is that people can come home," he said during his daily press conference on Friday.
"And they can come home soon, not a few weeks later but as soon as possible.
"But that really does depend with what is happening with the virus, with transmission, with case numbers, in not just Sydney but in NSW more broadly.
"That will depend on how much testing has been done, what does the waste water surveillance tell us, how many cases are there, how many exposure days were there - all of those things."
Mr Andrews said he doesn't go through the numbers, but rather waits until the public health team provides advice.
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"It isn't me who sits there and goes through the spreadsheet, it will be the public health team, and they will provide me with advice," he said.
"None of us took the decision lightly to close the border.
"And we will get the thing open as soon as we possibly can.
"We apologise for the inconvenience.
"But our job is not to be popular but to protect Victorians.
"And that is what we are 100 per cent committed to."
While border bubble residents, which include a handful of local government areas on both sides of the Murray River, can travel freely between the states with just their drivers licence, some Victorians who didn't make it home before the January 2 deadline are still stuck in NSW with no way to get home until the border reopens.
Mr Andrews said since the border closure there have been 579 exemptions granted with extra staff working to get through all the applications.
Victoria recorded zero new coronavirus cases on Friday.