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No Fast Track To Opening Up In Victoria With Roadmap To Remain Unchanged

Victoria won't follow NSW in fast-tracking its pathway out of lockdown, with the premier declaring daily COVID-19 cases remain too high.

A further 1638 new local infections and two deaths were reported in Victoria on Thursday, the second-highest daily case figure of any state or territory since the pandemic began.

The latest deaths are two women aged in their 60s and 70s from Melbourne's north and west, bringing the toll from the current outbreak to 70.

Victoria's Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie said there are now more than 6500 active cases in Melbourne's northern suburbs, accounting for 43 per cent of infections.

The virus is increasingly spreading in the regions, with another 115 new cases detected spanning from the City of Latrobe in the state's east to Mildura in the northwest.

Premier Daniel Andrews said daily cases were "higher than we'd like them to be" and urged Melburnians and regional residents in lockdown to follow the rules for a couple more weeks.

"It's awful. It's been a long time and it's tough and it's hard and everyone's over it and everyone wishes this was over but we are so, so close, we can see to the other side," he told reporters outside parliament on Thursday.

When 70 per cent of Victoria's population aged above 16 is fully vaccinated against the virus, which is expected to occur about October 26, Melbourne's curfew will ease, the travel limit will be expanded from 15 kilometres to 25 and venues will be allowed to open outdoors to fully vaccinated people.

More significant changes will occur once the 80 per cent double-dose target is reached, forecast for November 5.

Mr Andrews said he had no plans to alter Victoria's roadmap out of lockdown, despite newly installed NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet's accelerating his state's reopening after it reached the 70 per cent double-dose milestone on Wednesday.

"Other states can make their own decisions. The most important thing for us to do is to continue to see that first and second dose rate tick up," Mr Andrews said.

The Victorian opposition has called for a return of customer density limits at the 70 per cent target, paving the way for Melbourne hospitality venues to open indoors.

Under the government's roadmap, cafes, restaurants and pubs in Melbourne will only be able to open for outdoor seated service to a maximum of 50 visitors at that time.

"That doesn't cut it," opposition small business spokesman David Southwick said.

Victoria's more cautious roadmap is designed to protect the health system from being overwhelmed by COVID-19 hospital admissions as the state reopens.

There are now 564 Victorians in hospital battling the virus, up 39 from Wednesday, with 115 those in intensive care and 74 on a ventilator.

Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital has about 12 COVID-positive patients in its care and is dealing with a scare within its cancer ward, forcing affected patients, parents or carers into isolation.

A patient's parent spent at least four days at the Parkville hospital while infectious, but Professor Cowie said he wasn't aware of any patients testing positive.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Martin Foley has told parliament the state government is in discussions with healthcare workers to remunerate them for their work during the pandemic.

"For 20 months now, they have been working in stifling hot PPE equipment to keep themselves safe, and their patients and community safe," he said during question time.