COVID-19 restrictions are expected to be lifted sooner in regional communities including Echuca, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced.
Mr Andrews has placed metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in stage three lockdown which will remain in place for at least six weeks.
He hinted restrictions in regional communities could soon be eased due to low active case numbers but did not confirm detail.
"For people who live in regional Victoria, where case numbers remain low, current restrictions will remain the same for now," Mr Andrews said.
"There are still rules and they need to be followed.
"We’ve talked about this virus being like a public health bushfire. By putting a ring around metropolitan Melbourne, we’re essentially putting in place a perimeter to protect regional Victorians.
"This is not where any of us wanted to be, but we have to face the reality of our situation. To do anything else would have deadly consequences.
"I don’t take this step lightly. And I know just how deeply frustrating this is for everyone."
Local schools will not be affected by the decision to extend school holidays by a week.
It only applies to those placed into lockdown.
More to come.