Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Australia sees zero local Covid cases for first time since June

CANBERRA (BLOOMBERG) – Australia on Sunday (Nov 1) recorded its first day with no local cases of coronavirus transmission since June even as a growing number of other countries impose renewed measures to stem the resurgent pandemic.

The milestone, announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt on Twitter, comes as state governments ease domestic travel restrictions and as Melbourne, the nation’s second-largest city, emerges from a three-month lockdown that shuttered businesses and largely confined residents to their homes.

The state of Western Australia, which shut its borders to the rest of the nation starting in March, has announced it intends to start allowing travellers to enter from Nov 14.

Queensland will reopen its border to regional visitors from New South Wales beginning Nov 3, though residents of Australia’s largest city Sydney, and those from the state of Victoria, won’t be allowed to enter for now.

Australia is on track to reach Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s goal of a country without domestic border restrictions by Christmas, Mr Hunt said on Sunday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The situation is vastly different elsewhere. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson became Europe’s latest leader to retreat from a no-lockdown pledge.

On Saturday, he announced a one-month stay-at-home policy for all of England will take effect on Thursday as UK cases surpassed one million.

Germany and France imposed similar partial shutdowns in the past week.

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