New South Wales has reported five new coronavirus cases as the cluster in the southern highlands suburb of Moss Vale continues to grow.
Meanwhile, Victoria has recorded its eighth straight day of zero Covid-19 cases and zero deaths. The result comes as the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, is expected to scrap Melbourne’s “ring of steel” and end the 25-kilometre travel ban on Sunday, meaning the city’s residents will be allowed to travel to regional Victoria.
Two Covid-19 infections were also reported in South Australia on Saturday, a woman in her 40s and a man in his 30s. Both were returned travellers and in hotel quarantine.
Another day of 00, with zero cases and zero deaths.
?????????? Well done, Victoria?
Over the coming days, and as we head to COVID normal, heads up that there will be changes to the data reported in this tweet. https://t.co/4BEB35r9Jj
November 6, 2020
NSW’s five cases included one new locally transmitted infection, a household contract of a confirmed case in Moss Vale. The other four cases were in hotel quarantine.
Four new locally acquired cases were recorded in Moss Vale on Friday, prompting the closures of a school and childcare centre.
In the past fortnight, NSW has recorded 19 locally acquired cases, bringing its 14-day average to 1.4. Only 10 cases – one with an unknown source – have been recorded in the past seven days.
The Victorian health minister, Martin Foley, announced on Saturday that high-risk businesses, hospitality venues and places where large crowds gather – such as parks and beaches – would be the focus of a compliance blitz on the weekend.
Foley said Victoria police, WorkSafe and the Department of Health and Human Services would be ensuring people were following the chief health officer’s directions.
“We know there’s been quite a number of reports, from businesses themselves, workers and members of the community about how the rules … have not in all instances been complied with,” he said.
“We need to make sure that the enormous sacrifices and enormous progress Victorians have made over the course of the pandemic are sustained.
“That means everyone doing the right thing, everyone social distancing, wearing masks. When it comes to opening up, opening up safely in a way in which we stay open.”
The blitz came as Victoria’s 14-day case average fell to 0.9. The active cases in the state have also dropped to under 10, with just eight active cases in metro Melbourne. There are just two cases with an unknown source and no active cases of the virus in regional Victoria.
Travel freedom is expected to expand again when the NSW border reopens to Victorians on 23 November.
Also on Saturday, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, announced Tasmania would increase its hotel quarantine capacity by 450, which will add to the current capacity of 6,315 weekly quarantine spaces agreed to by states and territories.
The announcement was a welcome relief to stranded travellers, meaning more Qantas flights will be sent to collect them.
“As I have said for some time, we stand ready to play our role to help bring Australians home,” the state’s premier, Peter Gutwein, said.
Direct flights between Tasmania and New Zealand are also set to resume for the first time in more than 20 years.
There are plans for 130 flights to Hobart, with the first flight expected in early 2021, with three flights a week expected for most of the year except in winter.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Tasmania, a fantastic opportunity for Hobart,” Gutwein said. “This is a unique opportunity to travel between two extraordinary island destinations and a terrific boost for local jobs.”
Almost $50m in federal funds will go towards setting up border force, federal police and biosecurity officers at Hobart airport.
After reopening to NSW on Friday, Tasmania’s borders are now open to all jurisdictions bar Victoria.
Both Queensland and Western Australia recorded no new coronavirus cases on Saturday, with the western state’s 12 cases all in quarantine.
In NSW, authorities announced they had fined more than 30 venues in Liverpool for breaches of Covid safety protocols. Authorities found 39 venues did not have current Covid-safety plans and 20 venues did not keep records appropriately.