No new locally acquired virus in Australia

There is still concern about those who completed quarantine in Brisbane's Hotel Grand Chancellor.
There is still concern about those who completed quarantine in Brisbane's Hotel Grand Chancellor.

Australia has recorded no new cases of local coronavirus transmission, sparking hopes concerning clusters in the country's biggest cities could be conquered.

NSW, Victoria and Queensland on Thursday recorded zero locally acquired infections after weeks of worry about different outbreaks in the major capitals.

Health Minister Greg Hunt compared Australia's numbers with the 16,000 deaths and 750,000 cases recorded worldwide in a single day.

"It is a deep reminder of what we have achieved as a nation in saving lives and protecting lives," he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also tweeted his congratulations for the nation.

"Please keep being #COVIDSafe and following the advice of local health authorities around wearing masks," he said.

NSW health authorities urged caution around two Sydney clusters, warning it could be three weeks before there is confidence the danger has been extinguished.

Restrictions are set to remain in place, with Thursday the first day without a new local case in NSW for a week.

Victoria's eight-day run of no new local cases prompted Premier Daniel Andrews to announce a relaxation of mask rules and restart the schedule for returning to work.

There remains some concern about the 250 people who completed quarantine in the now shut-down Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane where six people contracted the UK strain of the virus.

There are 18 people isolating in Victoria after staying at the hotel, 14 in Tasmania, 10 in NSW and six in WA.

Queensland officials are confident contact-tracers have found every person an infected hotel cleaner and her partner had contact with when they were out in Brisbane last week.

National cabinet of federal and state leaders will meet next week when a Queensland proposal to use remote mining camps instead of hotels for quarantine is on the agenda.

But the plan appears dead in the water with NSW signalling it wanted to continue using hotels and WA dismissing the idea, with both states citing logistical hurdles.

Mr Andrews didn't rule remote camps out but said he had no plans to change the state's quarantine regime.

Australian Associated Press