Australian state reopens border after Covid cases plummet

Australia state reopens border after Covid cases plummet
Restrictions on life in Melbourne are being relaxed. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) is about to reopen its border with neighbouring state of Victoria for the first time since July after coronavirus cases there fell to zero.

Victoria, which imposed a tough coronavirus lockdown after a surge in cases, has reported no new infections since the beginning of this month.

The Australian state is also relaxing its rules on wearing face coverings.

Australia has recorded about 28,000 infections and 900 deaths in total.

The country has relied on widespread testing, aggressive contact tracing and lockdowns to push daily infections nationwide close to zero.

Australia shut down its international borders early in the coronavirus pandemic and requires all arriving travellers to spend two weeks in quarantine in designated hotels.

The border between Victoria and New South Wales – the two most populous states of Australia – was closed in July as infections soared in Victoria’s state capital, Melbourne. Flights between the city and Sydney, the capital of NSW – normally one of the world’s busiest routes – were cancelled.

Authorities in the NSW have since been in charge of guarding border crossings.

Melbourne saw coronavirus cases surge to more than 700 a day in July. The city has recorded 90% of the country’s Covid-related deaths.

Taking drastic steps to stop the transmission of the virus to other areas, it introduced a “ring of steel” with severe stay-at-home rules and a curfew.

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said on Sunday that they were “a testament to the character and the conviction and the amazing job that every single Victorian has done this year”.

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