Australia’s second-largest state, Victoria, once the country’s COVID-19 hotspot, said on Friday it has gone 28 days without detecting any new infections, a benchmark widely cited as eliminating the virus from the community. The state also has zero active cases after the last COVID-19 patient was discharged from hospital this week, a far cry from August when Victoria recorded more than 700 cases in one day and active infections totalled nearly 8,000. The spread of the virus was only contained after a lockdown lasting more than 100 days, leaving some 5 million people in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, largely confined to their homes. While the lockdown has seen infections wane, it slowed Australia’s economic recovery from its first recession in three decades after large swathes of the country’s economy were shut down in March. Australia’s economy shrank 7% in the three months to the end of June, the biggest quarterly decline since records began in 1959. The unemployment rate hit a 22-year high of 7.5% in July as businesses and borders closed to deal with the coronavirus. The slowdown in cases, however, has seen Australian states and territories remove social distancing restrictions. Australia’s southern island state, Tasmania, on Friday became the latest to open its border to Victoria, reuniting families who had been apart for months. “It has been very difficult, but we are going to make up for it. We are going to go to the beach and have beautiful Tasmanian seafood and some pinot noir,” Allison Park, a Victoria resident visiting family in Tasmania, told reporters in the city of Hobart after arriving on a plane from Melbourne. Victoria is the last state to gain access to Tasmania, which closed its borders in March.