Australia’s COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 800 after Victoria reported another six deaths.
The virus-ravaged state on Saturday confirmed the deaths along with 37 more cases from the past 24 hours.
It means the national death toll stands at 803, with 716 of those in Victoria.
Regional Victoria could move out of restrictions as early as next week, Premier Daniel Andrews indicated.
“We are poised to be able to take not just one but potentially two steps as early as next week,” he said.
Melburnians remain subject to a lockdown curfew between 8pm and 5am, with Andrews standing strong in the face of federal government criticism.
The Melbourne Freedom Walk is scheduled for Saturday on the edge of Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens, according to social media. There may also be protests in other locations.
An anti-lockdown rally was held at the Shrine of Remembrance last weekend resulting in 17 arrests and more than 160 fines being issued for breaching health directions.
The city’s fortnightly average for daily infections must fall to 50 or lower before some workplaces and schools can reopen from September 28.
Andi Yu in Melbourne