Victoria reports zero Covid cases as lockdown ends

Pedestrians outside Melbourne's Flinders Street Station on the first day of eased Covid...
Pedestrians outside Melbourne's Flinders Street Station on the first day of eased Covid restrictions. Photo: Reuters
The Australian state of Victoria reported zero locally acquired cases of Covid-19 for the first time in nearly three weeks on Friday as the capital Melbourne came out of a snap two-week lockdown.

There have been about 90 cases in the latest outbreak since May 24.

Melbourne exited the lockdown at 11.59pm on Thursday but some restrictions on travel and gathering will remain, including a rule that would force the city's five million residents to stay within 25km of their homes.

Neighbouring New South Wales (NSW) state and Queensland, meanwhile, are on virus alert after an infected woman and her husband travelled from Victoria through several country towns in both states.

The 44-year-old woman tested positive for Covid-19 after reaching Queensland state and later passed the virus to her husband.

Cafes, restaurants, service stations and supermarkets in NSW and Queensland have been listed as virus hotspots, though Queensland officials said the couple was likely at the end of the infectious period and posed a low risk.

NSW, the country's most populous state, has not reported any locally acquired cases of Covid-19 in more than a month, while Queensland last reported cases in late March.

Queensland reported no locally acquired cases on Friday, while NSW is expected to report its daily case numbers later on Friday.

Australia has fared much better than many other developed countries during the pandemic, with just over 30,200 Covid-19 cases and 910 deaths, mostly in Victorian aged-care homes.

Snap lockdowns, internal border controls and tough social distancing rules have helped it contain prior outbreaks. 

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