News that the "ring of steel" around Melbourne will come down on November 9 has been met with relief by the south-west tourism industry.
With many business and tourism operators at "the end of their tether", Great Ocean Tourism chair Wayne Kaylor-Thomson said hopes were high for a busy summer.
Mr Kaylor-Thomson said Premier Daniel Andrews' foreshadowing the opening of the metro-regional border would very welcome.
"I guess we've had so many stops and starts, so you don't like to get over confident, but it seems to be headed in the right direction so there's a degree of confidence there that it will happen," he said.
"I think people are at the end of their tether really and we obviously feel for everyone in the region that's been suffering from it.
'We're all sharing that pain, so we need some confidence."
Mr Andrews also announced an easing of COVID-19 restrictions for Melbourne that come into effect on Wednesday after the state recording no new coronavirus cases and no new deaths.
Across the state there are 91 active cases, but the last time Victoria recorded no new cases was June 9..
The 14 day average in Melbourne 3.6 and 0.2 in regional Victoria.
The Premier promised to fully explain to every Victorian on November 8 what to expect for the rest of the year and what a COVID-19 Christmas would look like.
But he warned that until there was a vaccine, there would be no "normal" just a "COVID-19 normal".
"This virus is not going away. It is going to continue to be a feature of our lives, it is going to be a feature of our lives every day until a vaccine turns up," he said.
Mr Andrews said the November 8 date would only be reviewed if there was a significant spike in cases.
"Barring a day where we have, or a series of days we have very high case numbers, then we will make these changes," he said.
Mr Kaylor-Thomson said that they hoped people who visited the Great Ocean Road region would stay overnight.
"That's the quickest way to help businesses to survive and to grow and unemployment not be the full extent that we have projected," he said.
Last week, the tourism body launched its Great Sleepover campaign to encourage people to spend a night in the Great Ocean Road region.
Mr Kaylor-Thomson said it was a relief to now be so close to having Melbourne people coming back to visit.
"We expect their will be a high number of day visitors but we need to get people to come and stay, spend and support the local community," he said.
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