Premier Daniel Andrews told regional media on Friday afternoon that regional Victorians "should not think there is a set of stage three restrictions coming next week".
Mr Andrews remarks came as journalists from across regional Victoria spoke with the Premier via Zoom.
Stage three restrictions, like those currently in place across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, will be enforced for at least another five weeks.
"While cases are low in regional Victoria and we have a quick and effective public health response to any cases that arise, it is less likely the rules will change in regional Victoria," Mr Andrews said.
"While we keep numbers low, the Chief Health Officer and myself have the confidence that the current strategy is working."
The Premier recommended regional Victorians consider wearing a mask when they couldn't guarantee that social distancing would be possible.
"It is not compulsory to wear a mask anywhere in the state," Mr Andrews said.
"No mask will get the risk to zero but every type of mask and face covering will mitigate that risk."
"It is a low cost, precautionary measure that is of high benefit."
THE number of COVID-19 cases in central Victoria has dropped for the second consecutive day.
Data from the Department of Health and Human Services released on Friday showed six active cases in the region - three listed in Greater Bendigo and another three in the Macedon Ranges.
There were no longer any active cases listed in the Campaspe Shire. There was one active coronavirus case in that region on Thursday.
There were still no active cases in the Mount Alexander, Loddon, Central Goldfields, and Gannawarra Shires.
Case numbers are subject to change, as DHHS contact tracers follow up cases and analyse data.
The department said the residential location was the residential address provided when the case was notified.
It was not where they were infected and may not be where the case currently resides.
Regional Victorians have been asked to wear a mask in public when they can't maintain a distance of 1.5 metres, as 428 new COVID-19 cases were announced on Friday.
Premier Daniel Andrews said all regional Victorians, as a precautionary measure, should wear a mask.
"This is a small thing, but it can make a really big difference in stopping the spread of this virus," he said.
"The mask can be home made, it can take the form of wearing a scarf.
"They do reduce risk and that is something we are completely focused on."
There are 5165 active COVID-19 cases in Victoria, with Friday's tally of 428, a new state record.
Mr Andrews announced three new deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the COVID-19 death toll in Victoria to 32.
There are 122 Victorians receiving treatment for COVID-19 in hospital, with 31 of those in intensive care.
Mr Andrews and Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced additional test sites in regional Victoria and the establishment of regional public health teams to stop the virus's spread.
"In recent weeks, we have been seeing a steady increase in coronavirus cases in Victoria, concentrated largely in metropolitan Melbourne," Ms Mikakos said.
"We are keeping a very close eye on regional Victoria and while the numbers in regional Victoria have been lower, it is important regional Victorians don't become complacent."
Ms Mikakos said Bendigo would be one of five regional areas to establish a new, local public health team.
"These public health teams are based at regional health services to enable local people based in those services to do the contact tracing and identify cases in the local communities they know best," she said.
The other regional public health teams will be set up in Geelong, Ballarat, La Trobe Valley and Shepparton.
A new drive-thru COVID-19 clinic opened at Bendigo Health on Thursday, with access via Mercy Street.
Mr Andrews said additional test sites were critically important.
"We are grateful to those testing positive in regional Victoria are following detailed quarantine rules," he said.
"That ring around Melbourne and Mitchell Shire is working in terms of reducing the spread of this virus in regional Victoria."
The chief health officer's update of daily COVID-19 cases by local government area will be released on Friday afternoon.
More to come
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