SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s coronavirus hot spot of Victoria state on Wednesday reported zero COVID-19 cases for the fifth straight day as states began easing regional border restrictions, raising prospects of a faster return to normal.
South Australia on Tuesday said it would reopen its border with Victoria in two weeks, while the country’s most populous state of New South Wales is expected to take a decision on border restrictions later in the day.
Victoria last week ago allowed restaurants and cafes in state capital Melbourne – home to 5 million people – to reopen after more than three months under a stringent lockdown but gatherings remain under tight control.
Australia has recorded just over 27,600 novel coronavirus infections, far fewer than many other developed countries.
Victoria, the second most populous state, has accounted for more than 90% of the country’s 907 deaths. No deaths have been reported in the state in the last week.
(Reporting by Renju Jose. Editing by Lincoln Feast.)