In Australia’s largest city, normality has returned to normal for the first time in 100 days.
After the corona lockdown, which lasted more than three months, shops, hair salons, gyms, cafes and bars have reopened to fully vaccinated customers after 70 percent of the New South Wales population aged 16 and over was fully vaccinated.
Some shops opened at midnight because people were impatient and wanted to enjoy their freedom. Sometimes meter-long queues formed.
Once the 80 percent mark is reached, further pandemic restrictions will be lifted and residents of the state of New South Wales, which includes Sydney, will be able to travel abroad for the first time since March last year.
New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said the infection rate and the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals are lower than forecast. “That is positive and gives us hope and confidence that we are in a very good position to protect people,” said the politician. New South Wales reported 496 new infections and eight COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hour period.
It is also clear that the infection rate will increase when the residents of Sydney return to work and become more mobile. “There are still limitations. It is not a carte blanche for everyone. If everyone looks out for one another and respects one another, people can go back to work, reopen shops and at the same time ensure people’s safety, “says Dominic Perrottet.
While the number of infections in Sydney has been falling in recent weeks, it has not yet peaked in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. The state of Victoria, which includes Melbourne, reported 1,612 new infections and eight deaths on Monday.
Sydney’s lockdown began on June 26th and the Delta variant outbreak spread from Sydney to Melbourne, which has been locked down since August 5th. The capital Canberra has been in lockdown since August 12th. The rest of Australia is largely corona free.
The Australian Capital Territory, which includes Canberra, and New South Wales are the only parts of the country to have reached the 70 percent vaccination mark. Canberra will lift the pandemic restrictions on Friday. Here more than 95 percent have received at least one dose, 72.8 percent are fully vaccinated.