“And hotel quarantine still working well with 10 new cases of returned Aussie travellers. Testing works to keep us all safe.”

Experts believe the incubation period for coronavirus is 14 days, meaning anyone in NSW who was infected by the most recent COVID-19 case, from November 7, should have tested positive by now.

Clearing that period is a key step towards reaching 28 days, or two incubation periods, without local cases, which is when Queensland has flagged it would open its NSW border.

Some governments and health experts believe that benchmark shows signs of elimination. But in Auckland, New Zealand, the virus re-emerged after more than 100 days without detection.

Health authorities have continually urged against complacency as the virus could still be circulating undetected.

“While there have been no new locally acquired cases in NSW for the past 14 days, we continue to encourage people to get tested, even if they display only the mildest symptoms, such as a runny nose or scratchy throat, cough, or fever,” a NSW Health statement said on Saturday.

The health authority is treating 70 active COVID-19 cases, most of whom are in out-of-hospital care.

Patrons at Sydney’s Crossroads Hotel were quick to get tested in July when an outbreak occurred.Credit:Wolter Peeters

Meanwhile in Victoria, there is only a single recorded case of COVID-19 that is still active.

The state recorded its 22nd straight day of no new coronavirus cases or deaths on Saturday. It is Victoria’s longest stretch of days without COVID-19 cases since the end of February.


But it remains on alert after virus fragments were detected in a sewage catchment in Melbourne’s south-west.

A 48-hour hard border closure between Victoria and South Australia also remains in place on Saturday after traces of the virus were found in wastewater in Portland and Benalla – both regional towns located on major freight routes that were clear of the virus just last week.

South Australia recorded just one new COVID-19 case on Saturday, in a man who is the partner of a confirmed case linked to the state’s Parafield cluster. He was already in quarantine.

More than 5400 South Australians were in isolation on Saturday after coming into contact with an infected person.

Premier Steven Marshall said it was “great news” there had not been widespread community transmission as he urged people to honestly report their movements to contact tracers.

At least 20 detectives are investigating an Adelaide pizza shop where an employee on a temporary graduate visa lied to contact tracers, plunging South Australia into the hardest state-wide lockdown in the country.

The state will lift its lockdown at midnight and is aiming to remove all new restrictions by December 1 if all coronavirus clusters are contained. It would also remove its border restriction with Victoria on that date.

With Martin Boulton

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Natassia is the education reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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