Australia has eliminated the virus in many areas of the country, its chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, told reporters on Friday, as more than half of the 38 cases reported over the past week were travelers returning from abroad and remaining quarantined.
The last Covid-19 death in Australia was registered on May 23, when the death toll reached 102, and the country has recorded nearly 7,300 cases, over 500 of which remain active. Most of the hospitalizations are in New South Wales, where Sydney is located.
The authorities plan to ease restrictions on indoor gatherings in July, when stadiums will be allowed to host up to 10,000 people. Australia is also preparing for the return of foreign university students, a major source of income for the country.
The news on Friday came as Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged Australian states to reopen internal borders, which have remained restricted to prevent the virus from spreading from hard-hit areas like Sydney and Melbourne.
The authorities have warned, though, that plans to reopen might be hindered by rallies in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, which have attracted crowds of thousands in Sydney.
Reporting was contributed by Mike Baker, Dan Bilefsky, Kate Conger, Rick Gladstone, Jenny Gross, Mike Ives, Annie Karni, Chang W. Lee, Paul Mozur, Matt Phillips, Roni Caryn Rabin, Frances Robles, Kaly Soto, Mitch Smith, Chris Stanford, Eileen Sullivan, Carlos Tejada, Anton Troianovski, Sameer Yasir, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Maggie Haberman.