Premier Daniel Andrews insists his roadmap is the only path out of Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 as he continues to cop flak over the plan.
There is no set date yet for when regional restrictions will ease, while Melbourne will remain under a curfew until at least October 26.
“If anger and frustration were like a vaccine against this virus, then we would all be in a much better position,” Mr Andrews told reporters on Wednesday.
“The notion that I have chosen this way to go and there were 50 other options I could have chosen, that’s not in any way accurate.”
As Wednesday lived up to its “spike day” billing with 76 new cases and 11 deaths, the premier again said restrictions could be eased quicker – depending on case numbers.
That would allow footpaths and parks to be transformed in the coming months to open-air dining and drinking areas, mitigating the risk of business outbreaks.
“You will see roads and laneways closed,” Mr Andrews said.
“You’ll see parks that will become a centre of not just passive (recreation), but you’ll see people drinking and dining in those parks.”
The 14-day new case averages for Melbourne (74.5) and regional Victoria (five) are critical barometers for the roadmap strategy, and both numbers continue to fall.
As the state ramps up its much-maligned contact tracing system, testing of up to 300 sewage samples a week is taking place at 25 sites to help detect the spread of the virus.
The government said sewage samples at the coastal town of Apollo Bay had revealed signs the virus was circulating, prompting health authorities to increase testing in the area.
However, there have been no positive cases in the area since the local sample was taken on September 1.
Wednesday’s statewide test numbers almost doubled to 16,686, up from Tuesday’s 8704.
Of the 11 latest deaths, nine were linked to aged care and six happened before Tuesday.
They took the state toll to 694 and the national figure to 781.