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Greg Hunt says there are ‘no remaining coronavirus hotspots’ in Australia as border restrictions ease

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Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced there are no remaining coronavirus hotspots in Australia.

“What this shows is that we are containing the virus,” he told reporters on Sunday morning.

“Of course, inevitably, there will be days of new cases. There will be days where there may be a requirement for Commonwealth hotspot definition to be re-introduced.”

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“We’re not out of the woods because the world isn’t out of the woods,” he added. “And our challenges remain always, while there is a disease that is abroad in the rest of the world, but Australians are doing incredibly well.”

Travellers from Greater Brisbane will be able to enter South Australia without needing to quarantine under eased border restrictions that came into effect overnight.

Travellers from Brisbane must be tested for the virus on days one, five and 12 of their stay under the new rules.

Meanwhile, Victorians stuck in Brisbane are preparing to return home after the state government downgraded its COVID-19 risk assessment of the region.

Brisbane, Moreton Bay, the Redlands, Logan and Ipswich changed from a “red zone” to an “orange zone” as of 6pm on Saturday, meaning Victorians will no longer need to apply for an exemption to return home. 

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Returnees will need to apply for a travel permit, which they will receive automatically. They must also take a COVID-19 test within three days of their arrival and self-quarantine until they receive a negative result.

Victoria on Sunday again recorded zero new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, the eleventh day in a row that it has done so.

The Victorian government is no longer intensely anxious about the COVID-19 leak from hotel quarantine in Brisbane, as the infection appears to have spread no further than a cleaner and her partner.

“From our point of view, there is sufficient stability that we can safely have those Victorians in Brisbane return home,” Mr Andrews said.

The same process will apply for anyone travelling from Brisbane, whether or not they live in Victoria.

Victorians stranded in Sydney should be hopeful that they will be able to return home soon as well, with Mr Andrews flagging on Saturday that he was preparing to dramatically reduce the red zone in NSW.

“I do hope to be able to make announcements very similar to what we’ve just announced with Brisbane in the next couple of days. But, again, it has to be based on advice,” Mr Andrews said.

NSW records six local COVID-19 cases

New South Wales recorded six new local coronavirus cases, with five members of one family linked to a previous case.

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The sixth case was a close contact of the family, with all of the six new cases in and around the Berala area, though genomic sequencing is yet to link them to the known cluster.

The results came from 12,700 test results received over the 24 hours leading up to 8pm Saturday night.

For a full list of contact tracing locations, see the NSW Health website.

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 sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSWVictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania.

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