For the first time in nearly three weeks, Australia's Victoria state reported zero locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as the state capital Melbourne emerged from a two-week lockdown following an outbreak that had seen roughly 90 cases since May 24.
On Thursday night, Melbourne's lockdown was lifted, but several limitations on travel and gathering will remain in place, including a regulation requiring the city's five million people to stay within 25 kilometers (15 miles) of their homes.
Meanwhile, virus alerts have been issued in neighboring New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland after an infected woman and her husband traveled from Victoria through many country villages in both states. find out more
After arriving in Queensland, the 44-year-old woman tested positive for COVID-19 and later passed the virus on to her spouse.
Cafes, restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets in NSW and Queensland have been designated as virus hotspots, while Queensland experts have stated that the pair is likely towards the end of the contagious phase and poses minimal risk.
In more than a month, NSW, Australia's most populous state, has not reported any locally acquired COVID-19 infections, while Queensland last reported cases in late March.
On Friday, Queensland reported no locally acquired cases, while NSW will disclose its daily case statistics later that day.
With slightly over 30,200 COVID-19 cases and 910 deaths, Australia fared far better than many other affluent countries throughout the epidemic, especially in Victorian aged-care institutions. Prior outbreaks were contained thanks to quick lockdowns, internal border restrictions, and strict social distancing laws.