NSW has reached a major coronavirus milestone, with no new locally-transmitted infections recorded in a week for the first time since the pandemic began.
A total of 15 new coronavirus infections have been recorded since last Tuesday, but all have been found in people who have returned from overseas and are in hotel quarantine.
Two school children in Sydney’s eastern suburbs were the state’s last-known locally-acquired cases.
Health authorities have not revealed how the 10-year-old student from Moriah College or 12-year-old student at Waverley College contracted the virus.
NSW had no new coronavirus infections confirmed in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday.
There have been 3104 confirmed COVID-19 cases in NSW since the pandemic began.
NSW deputy chief health officer Jeremy McAnulty said going a week with no locally-acquired cases was “good news” for the state.
But Dr McAnulty said the risk of a fresh outbreak or resurgence of cases remained in NSW, and urged people to get tested if they felt unwell.
“The virus is still likely to be circulating in people in the community with mild symptoms,” he said.
A total of of 7018 people were tested for COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday, and more than 500,000 tests have been completed since the pandemic began.
Victoria remains the only Australian state still recording significant numbers of new cases. It had seven on Wednesday – all but one in returned overseas travellers.
Victoria has had a total of 1670 confirmed COVID-19 infections – 1384 in metropolitan Melbourne and 234 in regional Victoria. Several cases remain under investigation.
They include a confirmed case at a packaging factory in suburban Port Melbourne.
Victoria’s Health department is working with Amcor Flexibles to test its workforce following the notification of a single case this this week. Some staff at the plant are in quarantine, while all have been tested for the virus.
The factory had been closed for cleaning but was expected to reopen on Wednesday afternoon.
Other states were either yet to report figures for Wednesday, or had no new COVID-19 infections.
Elsewhere, Sydney Airport remains Australia’s busiest for international arrivals, even with the vast majority of flights grounded. Just 10 of the flights that landed in Sydney in May were carrying passengers later confirmed to have coronavirus.
Sydney, along with the country’s other international airports, is only accepting Australian citizens, residents and their immediate family members.
All arrivals from overseas must still go into two weeks mandatory quarantine in the capital city in which they land. They might then also be subject to two more weeks quarantine if they have to return to homes in other states.
A raft of coronavirus restrictions have been relaxed in NSW and other Australian starts in June.
Since Monday, regional travel has been allowed in NSW. Cultural institutions such as museums, art galleries and libraries have reopened, although their visitor numbers are limited.
Since June 1, NSW cafes, restaurants and pubs have been allowed to have up to 50 customers at a time inside. From June 13, gyms will be allowed to have 10 people in a class.
Beauty salons also opened on Monday, and children’s community sport competitions will be permitted to restart from July 1.
Victoria has introduced similar changes, although businesses are generally limited to 20 customers at a time.
Queensland has also moved to relax coronavirus measures, and is encouraging locals to get out and explore the state. Among the incentives are $99 flights from Brisbane to the Whitsundays.