Victoria’s streak of no new coronavirus deaths or cases has hit 10 consecutive days.
As travel restrictions ended on Monday, the state reported two mystery cases to Friday and only four active cases.
A positive test reported on Sunday was found to be a previously-quarantined person from WA, testing boss Jeroen Weimar said.
He said the case was found be viral shedding and so didn’t count as a new positive result.
The easing of restrictions has fed debate about how long Victorians will have to keep wearing masks – Mr Weimar noted on Monday that Melbourne had only started coming out of lockdown a fortnight ago.
“Right here, right now, masks are a critical element in safeguarding gains we have made,” he said.
Mr Weimar said other numbers also had not changed, with four active cases in the state and two hospital patients, neither of whom are in intensive care.
Testing numbers remain strong, with 10,365 in the past 24 hours.
Mr Weimar said there had been more than 235,000 tests in the past 14 days – an increase of eight per cent over the previous 14-day period.
The “ring of steel” separating the city from the rest of Victoria ended at midnight.
Melbourne’s 25km travel limit has also been scrapped.
Regional areas had been off-limits to Melburnians for months as the city lagged behind in its second wave fight with COVID-19.
“We know that so many people have missed those that they love the most, those who they need to see, been desperately keen to see, for such a long period of time,” Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Sunday.
Apart from the lifting of travel restrictions, the premier also announced a number of other rule changes.
Hospitality venues can now host up to 70 patrons outdoors and 40 indoors, while a maximum of 20 people are allowed in gyms, libraries, community centres, galleries, museums and cinemas.
Aged care residents are able to have visitors from one household per day for two hours, and partners can visit maternity wards indefinitely.
Worker caps on meat, poultry and seafood industries are also gone but anyone who is able to work from home must continue to do so and masks remain mandatory outdoors.
Looking ahead, Mr Andrews flagged statewide rules would next ease on November 22.
Victoria’s peak tourism and police groups welcomed the end of the regional divide but the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said a plan was still needed for the return of functions, events and office workers.
Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said Sunday’s announcement was long overdue, suggesting Victorians could be forgiven for wanting more of their freedoms back.
“When you see only four active cases in a state of 6.5 million people … you’ve got to ask: didn’t we deserve a bit more than what we got today?” he told reporters.
The state’s death toll from coronavirus remains at 819 and the national figure is 907.