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Australia records one local COVID-19 case, NZ quarantine worker tests positive

SYDNEY, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Australia on Tuesday reported one locally acquired case of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, while New Zealand registered its first community transmission in more than two weeks after a worker at a quarantine facility tested positive.

Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, reported the one domestic case of COVID-19, though it and Queensland state said there were six infections among people returning from overseas and in quarantine.

The result means Victoria state, the epicentre of Australia’s COVD-19 outbreak, has now gone four days without detecting any new infections.

With infections curtailed, South Australia state said it reopen the border with Victoria in two weeks. Anyone travelling from Victoria will have to quarantine for two weeks after arriving, South Australia Premier Steven Marshall said.

“This is great news for families, especially in the lead up to Christmas,” Marshall told reporters in Adelaide.

The unbroken record comes a week after Victoria eased a stringent lockdown of Australia’s second most populated city after more than 100 days.

Still, gatherings remain tightly controlled, and Australia’s most famous horse race, the Melbourne Cup, will on Tuesday be run for the first time without crowds in attendance.

Australia has fared much better than most other rich nations with the coronavirus, with just over 27,600 cases and 907 deaths.

Meanwhile, New Zealand began testing close contacts of the country’s first locally acquired case since mid-October.

New Zealand said the unnamed woman in her 50s is a health worker who had been working at a quarantine centre in the South Island city of Christchurch. (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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