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Victoria COVID19 update, reports of 'tensions'


Victoria has reported 41 new cases of COVID-19 and seven further deaths, with the latest figures supporting the state's planned easing of lockdown restrictions.

Sunday's statistics for the past 24 hours take the state's death toll to 723 and the national count to 810 since the start of the pandemic.

As parts of Victoria move towards eased restrictions, some tensions are emerging, including reports of further protest action on Sunday and a dramatic vehicle stop north of Melbourne.

A woman is seen being removed from the driver's seat of a car by a police officer in footage shared on Facebook on Saturday.

A masked Natalie Bonett refused to get out of her car after a discussion with an officer about a phone charger at Wallan, about 60km north of the city.

The male officer can be heard asking for Ms Bonnett's name and address.

"The problem is you're not stating your name to me," the officer is heard saying.

Ms Bonett again refused to get out of the car.

"I don't feel safe. You're armed," she said.

"You're safe, don't you worry about that," the officer replied.

The footage then shows the officer lean into the vehicle as Ms Bonett protests, before she is forcibly removed.

"I am shaking, crying and in complete disbelief that I was treated this way," Ms Bonett wrote of the event, recounting that she was arrested and handcuffed.

Police have been contacted for comment.

Premier Daniel Andrews has said that as lockdown restrictions ease in regional areas, road checkpoints might be stepped up to make sure Melburnians don't escape to the country.

"It may go to a new level to make sure that only those who absolutely need to be travelling into country Victoria are doing that," he said.

Victoria's two weeks of low infection rates have prompted Mr Andrews to indicate the possibility that regional Victoria could jump two steps out of lockdown by mid-next week.

This will mean, among other things, that regional residents would very soon be able to go out for a coffee or meal.

Melburnians are also set to receive some relief from Monday, with the reduction in hours of the daily curfew, to 9pm to 5am and the allowance of 'household bubbles', providing company for those who live alone.

Small anti-lockdown protests were staged in Melbourne on Saturday and more are expected on Sunday.

Police arrested 14 people and fined at least 50 for breaching health directions.

Peaceful protesters in central Melbourne were outnumbered by police.

© AAP 2020

Image Credit: NSW Health Facebook