Melbourne lockdown expectations tempered

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has moved to temper expectations ahead of announcing eased lockdown rules for Melbourne on Sunday.

The city's crucial 14-day COVID-19 case average has plummeted to 26.7, below the 30-50 threshold need to trigger to the next stage of normalisation.

Despite a day earlier indicating some restrictions could be eased quicker than planned, Mr Andrews talked down the prospect of Melbourne taking major strides on Thursday.

"Sunday will not be a day of massive steps," he told reporters.

"The roadmap does not speak to that; it is not a day when we essentially throw the doors open.

"It will be, however, steady and safe steps, and that sense of gradual, continual progress is what we are able to do because we have a gradual and continued decline in these numbers."

Under the metropolitan Melbourne roadmap announced on September 6, proposed changes include allowing public gatherings for five people from two households.

Schools, child care and some workplaces would open, along with outdoor pools, while personal trainers could operate with two clients.

There could also be outdoor religious services for up to five people, plus a leader.

Victoria recorded just 12 new cases on Thursday, dropping Melbourne's rolling average from 29.4 to 26.7.

There were two deaths, taking the state toll to 773 and the national figure to 861.

Mr Andrews said it was still "too much" to jump to October 26's "step three" on Sunday, which would repeal more onerous restrictions such as the city's 9am-5am curfew and 5km travel limit.

"The roadmap as we announced a few weeks ago contemplates a much bigger step at the end of October," the premier said.

"It's never been the case that we felt that it likely that we could take those sorts of steps essentially a month early."

He expects the state government and health authorities to settle on the new rules on Saturday night before publicly confirming the package.

They will likely come into effect at midnight on Sunday or Monday.

Extra rule rollbacks up for consideration aren't limited to businesses, Mr Andrews said, with possible freedoms extended to individual Melburnians.

Regional Victoria moved to "step three" last week and its 14-day rolling case average remains steady at 1.1.

It came as the Health Workers Union called for the dismissal of Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos, accusing her of "breathtaking incompetence".

The union's letter to Mr Andrews was made public as Ms Mikakos appeared before the inquiry into Victoria's hotel quarantine program, which sparked the state's devastating second wave.

"Sadly, our union's relationship with your government is now officially dead, due solely to the breathtaking incompetence of your current health minister," HWU Secretary Diana Asmar wrote.

The premier defended Ms Mikakos and said she has his confidence.

Lisa Fitzpatrick, secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation's Victorian branch, also backed Ms Mikakos and questioned the motives behind the HWU statement.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has ruled legal advice used to justify Victoria's coronavirus curfew will be not be kept secret.

Mornington Peninsula cafe owner Michelle Loielo is challenging the curfew's validity, claiming it breaches her human rights.

Supreme Court Justice Ginnane ruled on Thursday the advice of deputy public health commander Michelle Giles, responsible for signing off on emergency powers, must be made available to Ms Loielo's lawyers.

The trial is scheduled to start on Monday.

Also on Thursday, the state government announced an $11.3 million boost for food relief services to help those struggling during lockdown.

© AAP 2020