* Victoria recorded 12 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths, taking the state toll to 773 and the national figure to 861.
* Melbourne's crucial 14-day new case average dropped to 26.7, below the figure of 50 needed for authorities to consider easing some restrictions.
* Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has slammed the decision to use security guards in the state's quarantine hotels, saying she called for the army to replace them following coronavirus outbreaks.
* Melbourne anti-lockdown protests are likely for a fourth straight weekend, with Victoria Police hoping in vain that they "run out of puff".
* NSW has gone a third day without any locally acquired cases of COVID-19, paving the way for more freedoms and the hope of New Year fireworks on Sydney Harbour.
* NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also flagged the dancefloor is returning to weddings with up to 20 people in bridal parties allowed to dance, where previously only the bride and groom were permitted.
* Queensland recorded no new cases in the 24 hours to 9am on Thursday and had only five active cases.
* People in Brisbane will be able to visit aged care homes and hold gatherings of up to 30 people after Queensland went 14 days without community spread of COVID-19.
* Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has called on the federal government not to withdraw Australian soldiers from border checkpoints on September 30, the day before more than 150,000 NSW residents will be able to visit the northern state.
* A prime minister's department official has misquoted the number of Australians stranded overseas wanting to return home by about 9000 (she said 35,700 instead of 26,800).
* Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet deputy secretary Simon Duggan said hotel quarantine capacity - not the availability of flights - was stopping more people returning.
* September 14 to September 27 - stage four lockdown for Melbourne with some changes, including the curfew moving back an hour to 9pm.
* September 24 - SA will allow NSW residents to enter the state without self-isolating for 14 days.
* September 27 - NSW, Queensland and WA will start taking more international arrivals.
* September 28 - if average daily cases are 30-50 in metro Melbourne over the previous 14 days the city will move to the 'second step', including increased limits for public gatherings and a staged return to school for some students.
* October 1 - Residents of Byron Shire, Ballina, the city of Lismore, Richmond Valley including Casino and Evans Head, Glen Innes and 41 other NSW postcodes will be added to the Queensland-NSW border bubble.
* October 26 - Tasmania's state of emergency due to expire. In Melbourne, the overnight curfew will be dropped if - over the previous fortnight - the average number of new cases falls below five and there are fewer than five cases from an unknown source.
* November - Victoria's hotel quarantine inquiry report due.
* November 23 - If there are no new cases for 14 days in Melbourne the city will move to the 'last step'. That includes all retail shops opening, public gatherings of up to 50 people allowed outdoors, and up to 20 visitors at a time allowed into a home.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* The national death toll is 861: Victoria 773, NSW 55, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 6, SA 4, ACT 3.
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS
* Cases: at least 31,800,000
* Deaths: at least 974,000
* Recovered: at least 21,800,000
Australian Associated Press