Australia has recorded zero new coronavirus cases across the country for the first time in five months.
The incredible feat last happened in Australia on June 9, leading Health Minister Greg Hunt to believe the country is ‘on track’ to open all state borders by Christmas. He said he hoped all decisions on border closures would now be based on medical advice.
“I am very hopeful that now the [Queensland] election is over that this will continue to be a medical decision,” Hunt said. “If it is a medical decision the very low case numbers … will provide the strongest possible basis for moving to the next step.”
Sunday was Victoria’s second consecutive day with no new coronavirus infections, while all four of NSW’s new cases came from hotel quarantine.
Hunt said Australia was well on its way to achieving a ‘single internal national bubble’.
“We are on track to meet the Prime Minister’s goal of a country which is internally open before Christmas,” he said.
“We’ve seen a very important set of moves over the course of this week.Tasmania has significantly opened its borders, Western Australia has moved from a hard to a soft border, Queensland has expanded their border openings. But there’s more to go.
“As confidence is built, we want to see those borders opened as quickly as possible… we’re now in the position where we’d like to see NSW and QLD be able to have free movement between the jurisdictions,” he added.
“Once everyone is comfortable that Victoria does have its contact tracing to gold-standard level, then I think we’ll see a single national bubble.”
On Sunday afternoon, Hunt praised Australians for stemming the spread of coronavirus in the country.
“Thank you to all of our amazing health and public health workers and above all else the Australian people,” Hunt posted on Twitter.
Last week, all Australian states bar WA supported a plan at the national cabinet to try and reopen all domestic borders by Christmas.