UPDATE, 12PM: Of the 324 cases confirmed in Victoria today, just two are in regional Victoria.
Victoria's COVID commander Jeroen Weimar confirmed on Thursday morning that the two cases are not of significant concern for authorities.
The two cases, one in Shepparton and one in Mitchell Shire, are both primary close contacts of previous cases.
He also said cases in Mildura and Bellarine Peninsula reported on Wednesday had not spread, while the Latrobe Valley case had returned a secondary negative result.
Mr Weimar also said there were 195 cases in Melbourne's northern suburbs and 102 in the western suburbs.
The update comes as regional Victoria counts down the hours until lockdowns eases.
When asked if regional Victoria was lifting its restrictions too early given soaring case numbers in Melbourne, health minister Martin Foley praised the regions for the sense of caution when it came to vaccinations and following rules.
"There is a deeper sense of ownership and engagement in regional communities with the health services," he said.
"We see it in the higher levels of vaccinations, we are confident on the public health advice, that very measured changes that will come to light, are proportionate.
"It's up to all of us, especially our regional communities to safeguard that by following those rules, making sure that only permitted workers and for permitted reasons travel from metropolitan Melbourne to the regions and vice-versa."
Meanwhile, by September 17, all public aged care workers will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to work in Victoria.
Mr Foley said the new condition of employment would require full-time, part-time and casual residential aged care workers, volunteers engaged by a facility, and students on placement to have received the first dose COVID-19 vaccine as a minimum.
From September 23, freight and healthcare workers entering Victoria using the multiple-entry work permits will need to have at least one dose of the vaccine.
EARLIER: Victoria has recorded 324 new local COVID-19 cases, as regional Victoria counts down the hours until the lifting of the current lockdown.
Victoria has recorded 324 new local COVID-19 cases, as regional Victoria counts down the hours until the lifting of the current lockdown
Of the 324 new cases, just 107 have been linked, meaning 217 are currently classed as mystery cases.
There were 37,604 vaccinations administered and 54,242 tests received on Tuesday.
The 324 new cases follows daily tallies of 221, 246 and 246 cases so far this week.
It's the first day cases have topped 300 since August last year.
Details and locations of the cases will be revealed later today.
As of tomorrow, all of regional Victoria (except greater Shepparton) will tentatively exit lockdown.
However, the slight easing of rules has not been entirely welcomed, with Ballarat hospitality businesses saying the new rules are not viable.
Ballarat's wastewater has now been given the all-clear after evidence of coronavirus in the sewage last week. There has now been five further rounds of testing that failed to find any COVID in Ballarat's wastewater.
There remains just one exposure site in Ballarat, after a positive case attended Australian Catholic University last week.
See where all the active cases are here.
Meanwhile, Hundreds of police are headed for regional Victoria to keep Melburnians from fleeing as country residents prepare to revel in more COVID-19 freedoms.
All of regional Victoria except for Greater Shepparton is set to exit lockdown just before midnight on Thursday, with cafes, restaurants and bars able to fling open their doors with strict patron limits.
About 200 police officers will be sent to patrol the edges of Melbourne and Shepparton to ensure people do not leave locked-down areas.
Booze buses, random checkpoints, roving patrols and number plate recognition technology will be used to catch out rule-breakers, rather than the "ring of steel" approach adopted last year.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Rick Nugent conceded some Melburnians might be tempted to try their luck, but warned they faced a $5452 fine.
"That's a huge fine just for heading into the regional areas for a cafe meal, or a restaurant meal or a pub meal. So please don't," he told reporters.
See all the exposure sites here.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton described the changes in regional Victoria as a "safe first step", despite five of Wednesday's 221 new cases being reported in Moorabool, Mildura, the Latrobe Valley, Mitchell Shire and Bellarine Peninsula.
A large number of post-lockdown restrictions will still apply in regional Victoria including a maximum of 10 people allowed to dine inside hospitality businesses and 20 outside.
Some businesses have already decided the limits will make it unviable for them to reopen.
The Victorian government has confirmed fortnightly cash grants for lockdown-hit regional businesses will go ahead next week, before funding arrangements are reviewed for the next two-week block from September 17.
Meanwhile, police are trying to track down more worshippers who illegally gathered in southeast Melbourne to mark the Rosh Hashanah holiday on Tuesday.
About 20 to 30 people from an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community attended the Ripponlea gathering but just six have been fined so far. More fines are expected to be handed out in coming days.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.