Victoria’s new COVID-19 cases dropped to beneath 30 for the first time since June with just 28 new infections on Thursday of which 14 are linked to known cultures. Thursday’s cases were the lowest they had been since 20 cases were recorded on 24 June.

There were eight deaths, including a woman in her 60s, two men in their 80s, and two men and three women in their 90s, and six of the eight deaths were linked to aged care.

For COVID-19 measures to be lifted, Melbourne must have an average daily case rate of between 30 and 50 cases over the preceding fortnight to trigger an easing of lockdown measures from September 28.

State Education Minister James Merlino has announced some new educational supports. “This package does a number of things. It helps parents with the cost of fees, ensures kindergarten providers remain viable and, as we think about toe four and the 4-year-old kindergarten kids, it’s a positive transition into primary school 2021,” he said.

“Thirty million dollars of this fund goes to free session kindergartens. This supports parents with the cost of fees, providing payments of around $500 per child.

“Free sessional kindergarten, community-based, school provided kindergarten, for time for across the whole of the state.