Victoria's coronavirus respite has been brief, with eight deaths taking the state toll to 737 and the national figure to 824.
Tuesday was the first day Victoria had been fatality-free in its second wave since July 13.
Among the latest fatalities, four women and two men were in their 80s and two men were in their 90s. All are aged care-related.
But there was more good news, with Premier Daniel Andrews announcing that elective surgery would start to resume.
Elective surgery had been largely on hold because of the state's second wave.
Regional Victoria will go up from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of usual surgeries from Wednesday as part of eased restrictions, while Melbourne is likely to go to 75 per cent from September 28.
"We plan to have approximately 18,750 additional elective surgeries across private and public hospitals in October, and an extra 10,500 surgeries across those settings in November," the premier said.
IN OTHER NEWS
Victoria's total active cases have hit a milestone, dropping below 1000 to 991.
"That is very, very significant - it's been a long time since we've had less than 1000 active cases," Premier Daniel Andrews said.
Melbourne's crucial 14-day average of new cases has also dropped below 50.
It is now 49.6, with regional Victoria also falling again to 3.5.
The 14-day rolling average is a key statistic in the state government's roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions.
Victoria had 42 new cases on Wednesday, the same as Tuesday.
Regional Victoria's restrictions will ease at midnight, but Melbourne will stay in its stage-four lockdown.
Authorities are ramping up roadblocks, creating the so-called "ring of steel" around the city to ensure city residents do not try to take advantage of the eased regional measures.
Premier Daniel Andrews has warned motorists travelling out of the city to expect longer wait times as police tighten checkpoints.
"I'm sorry to say it will mean that there will be significant queues, there will be travel issues," he told reporters on Tuesday.
Melbourne's lockdown rules remain unchanged and people cannot travel out of the city without specific reasons.
The next step for regional Victoria means pubs, cafes and restaurants will be able to serve people outside with strict density quotas, while outdoor gathering limits will be upped to 10.
Regional Victorians will also be able to leave their homes without restriction and all shops can reopen.
The premier said Melburnians should be inspired by the rolling back of restrictions, rather than disheartened.
"I'd encourage people not to see it that way and instead see this as proof positive," he said.
Melbourne will move to its next step of reopening on September 28 if the 14-day case average keeps falling to between 30-50.
The Courier has removed the paywall from our stories relating to health warnings and safety of the community in regards to the coronavirus. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.