Double doughnut weekend: No new local cases in Australia for first time in months

Victorians can expect more restrictions to be eased after no new coronavirus cases were recorded during their first weekend of freedom following 112 days in strict lockdown.

On Sunday it was also revealed that not a single locally-acquired case was detected from 14,751 tests conducted across the country in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.

“Well done Australia,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted following the news that Australia recorded no new infections for the first time in almost five months.

Health Minister Greg Hunt tweeted it was the “1st national zero community transmission day since June 9”.

He wrote: “Thankyou to all of our amazing health & public health workers & above all else the Australian people.”

It comes as Queensland prepares to open its border to everyone but those in Victoria and Greater Sydney from Tuesday.

Calls are continuing for newly re-elected Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to let in people from Sydney.

Mr Hunt is confident the case for a broader reopening is strengthening, saying he would encourage Ms Palaszczuk “to continue to review”.

“I am very hopeful that now that the election is over that this will continue to be a medical decision,” Mr Hunt said.

Meanwhile, Victoria is on the verge of quashing active coronavirus cases to low double digits according to Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

Melburnians enjoyed their first weekend of relaxed restrictions since the lockdown was relaxed. Photo: AAP

Active cases ballooned above 7000 in mid-August as the state desperately tried to reign in its rampant second wave.

That figure has been whittled down to just 61 following consecutive days without recording a single new infection or death on Saturday and Sunday.

Professor Sutton expects active cases to tumble further, suggesting it could fall to “a couple of dozen” by next week.

“You’ll see 10 or more come off each day and we’ll get down to very few active cases,” he told reporters on Sunday.

It came as Professor Sutton hinted another strong week of data could result in cap limits and density quotas for some industries being raised higher than initially outlined.

More restrictions are due to ease in Melbourne next Sunday, including the scrapping of the so-called “ring of steel” dividing the city from the regions and the 25km travel limit.

Although the encouraging case numbers won’t mean that date is brought forward, Professor Sutton said authorities would mull over changes that go beyond those previously announced.

“What allowances come on November 8 will absolutely be informed by what this week looks like,” he said.

“Some of the details might change. We can always make consideration of what caps might be in certain settings, what density quotients might be in those settings.

“And some of the specific industries that might come on board in terms of being able to operate.”

The state’s virus death toll remains at 819 and the national figure 907.

-with AAP

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