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City’s 5km limit could go to 20km, with models being run ‘as we speak’

“We’re looking at everything at the moment. There’s models being run as we speak and they should be off the computer in the next day or so. It does take a little bit of time to do,” he said.

“We’re considering all sorts of things in making those decisions before an announcement on Sunday.”

On Tuesday Professor Sutton gave some leeway on the five-kilometre rule when he admitted it could disproportionately affect residents in outer suburbs.

“I totally accept that not everyone lives in the same kind of neighbourhood and not everyone has the same opportunities as people who live five kilometres from a beach,” he said.

“It’s certainly something – when we made this road map it was quite a number of weeks ago now,” Professor Cheng said.

“We just need to reassess all our plans each time. It’s hard to look a month ahead let alone a week or so ahead.”

He warned, however, that the number of “mystery cases” with an unknown source – the most concerning criteria for health authorities – were still too high at 15 in the fortnight to October 12.

Victoria’s existing road map aimed for five or fewer mystery cases in the preceding fortnight before freedoms such as the reopening of outdoor dining would be allowed, though that could be revised on Sunday.

“That’s the issue, and that these mystery cases are distributed through a lot of different LGAs [local government areas],” Professor Cheng said.

If the mystery cases were all in one place testing could be concentrated in one place but, he said, “it’s not necessarily the case here”.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton.

Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton.Credit:Justin McManus

Melbourne’s 14-day case average fell to 8.9 on Thursday while regional Victoria’s was 0.6.

Premier Daniel Andrews said 1862 people were tested in Shepparton as authorities battled to contain an outbreak sparked by a man who visited the town while infectious and then lied to contact tracers.

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Mr Andrews said no positive tests from the 350 results received by Thursday morning had come back positive and warned wait times of several hours to get tested would likely be unavoidable.

“I think people appreciate that this is not like queueing for anything else. It has to be done safely, there have to be various processes and protocols observed,” the Premier said.

“The last thing we want to be doing is to be potentially spreading the virus as part of a testing process, so it has to be done carefully.”

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