The Northern Territory will ease travel restrictions on regional Victoria from next month after it "crushed" the coronavirus, and could do the same for metropolitan Melbourne.
Regional residents will be able to travel freely to the NT from November 2, so long as coronavirus case numbers remain low, the territory government announced on Monday.
"We can confirm we are now happy enough with the progress made in regional Victoria to flag a future change in their hotspot status, provided things keep progressing the way they are," Chief Minister Michael Gunner said at a press conference.
The hotspot declaration will be removed for all Victorian regional local government areas outside of metropolitan Melbourne - with the exception of Greater Geelong, Mitchell Shire and East Gippsland Shire.
Mr Gunner is holding back on Melbourne, Greater Geelong, Mitchell Shire and East Gippsland Shire because he wants to make sure cases confirmed in the past fortnight are not linked to community transmission.
"Once we are sure of that, we can be in a position to add these areas to the list of hotspots removed in four weeks," he added.
"That's likely to happen but it's not something we are confirming today."
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Mr Gunner noted almost all of regional Victoria had not had a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past fortnight.
"All the numbers basically amount to this - regional Victoria has crushed the coronavirus," he said.
Victoria on Monday recorded nine new cases of coronavirus, leaving Melbourne's 14-day rolling case average at 11.6 and regional Victoria at 0.3.
There have been 13 "mystery" cases in Melbourne between September 19 and October 2 and none in regional Victoria.
"It's hard to think of another place in the world that has successfully crushed two coronavirus waves, and Melbourne is on the cusp of doing that," Mr Gunner said of the Victorian government's management of the crisis.
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