Australia

Victoria officially 'eliminates' COVID-19, after recording 28 straight days without a new infection

Victoria has gone 28 straight days without a coronavirus infection. Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

The working definition for when a state or territory has achieved elimination of community transmission of the virus is 28 consecutive days without an infection.

Victoria has recorded no new coronavirus cases for its 28th consecutive day, meeting the official definition for elimination of the virus.

For the first time in more than eight months Victorians will be able to visit Tasmania without having to quarantine.

The island state dropped border restrictions with its mainland counterpart from 12.01am on Friday.

"This is a significant milestone," Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said on Thursday.

"We say to our Victorian visitors 'Welcome back' and to Tasmanians living in Victoria 'Welcome home'."

Tasmania shut its borders to mainland Australian in March but has gradually reopened over recent weeks.

The state is only closed to South Australia amid a cluster in Adelaide which on Thursday had grown to 31 cases.

"As it stands, the medium risk arrangement we have with South Australia will remain in place," Mr Gutwein said.

"There will be an update in coming days from public health."

Mr Gutwein confirmed Tasmania would receive the first of three repatriation flights bringing stranded Australians home from overseas on December 6.

The charter flight from India will touch down in Hobart and all arrivals will have to quarantine for two weeks in police-run hotel facilities.

Travellers will be required to return a negative test before they leave Delhi and again before they leave isolation.

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The NSW border with Victoria has already reopened, while Queensland has announced it intends to reopen its borders in the coming days.

The border restrictions in Queensland will relax on 1 December, while Tasmania will allow Victorians in from Friday.

Queensland's announcement came a day after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed travel from Greater Sydney will also be permitted from 1 December.

"During the forthcoming Christmas school holidays, I think we will see now, with the borders opened to New South Wales and Victoria, we will see the Gold Coast and places like Cairns and the Whitsundays now doing a roaring trade," she told ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday morning.

"That is great for Queensland businesses, it's great for Queensland tourism, it's great for our theme parks.

"I encourage people, there's no better place to spend your Christmas holidays than Queensland."

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction's restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW,VictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania

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