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At last, Victoria has a reason for optimism with only 11 new cases

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Melburnians should be optimistic after Victoria recorded its lowest daily COVID-19 case figure since the start of the second wave, the premier says.

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Victoria has recorded 11 new coronavirus cases overnight and two further deaths. This followed 14 new infections, and five deaths, on Sunday.

It is the 11th consecutive day the state has recorded a daily infections number below 50.

The rolling 14-day average of daily cases has dropped to 34.4 in metropolitan Melbourne, from 36.2 yesterday. Regional Victoria’s rolling case average is now 1.6, down from 1.8 yesterday.

Queensland has recorded one new case of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours – a young woman who is in hotel quarantine.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the state’s “very strong” hotel quarantine program has kept Queenslanders safe.

“I want to thank, on behalf of all Queenslanders, those hotels, hotel owners and hotel workers who have assisted us, and police, in enforcing this hotel quarantine,” he said.

“It’s been incredibly effective and important as we seek to increase the number of overseas travellers able to come back into Queensland.”

There are currently 17 active cases in the state, including 11 in the West Moreton region.

“While the numbers continue to go down, they’re clustered in the southern suburbs and around Ipswich,” he said.

Today’s number of new infections is the Victoria’s lowest since nine new infections were reported on June 16.

Premier Daniel Andrews declared the result a “cause for great optimism and positivity right across metropolitan Melbourne”.

“That is proof positive beyond any question that this strategy is working,” he said on Sunday.

Andrews said the path towards easing rules would be constantly reviewed, but he’s standing by his “safe and steady” approach.

“There’s no good opening up too early. There’s no good letting our frustrations get the better of us,” he said.

“All that will mean is that everything metropolitan Melbourne has given, everything that everyone has done to produce these low, but still not low enough, numbers will count for nothing.”

Optimism has risen among Melbourne small businesses, with a survey showing 35 per cent now believe the Victorian economy will be better in one year’s time.

That compares with just 17 per cent in August believing the state’s economy will improve by then, the Sensis Business Index shows.

More also think the national economy will mend, with 26 per cent saying it will be better in a year compared with 14 per cent last month.

Despite the premier’s upbeat tone, frustrations were evident on Sunday as anti-lockdown protests continued in Melbourne.

More than a dozen protesters illegally gathered at Chadstone Shopping Centre and belted out a rendition of John Farnham’s You’re The Voice before police intervened.

Two people were arrested and six were issued fines hefty fines, adding to Saturday’s 16 arrests and 21 fines after up to 100 people rallied in Melbourne’s inner beachside suburb of Elwood.

-AAP

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