Australia: Further easing of restrictions in Melbourne

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The authorities will further lift the measures for coronavirus in Melbourne, where the lockdown just eased on Friday, next week when the percentage of fully vaccinated in the state of Victoria reached 80%, officials said today.

Melbourne, a city of about five million people, has been under restraint for 262 days, or almost nine months, during six lockdowns since March 2020, longer than the 234-day continuous lockdown in Buenos Aires.

Starting on Friday, when 80% of citizens across Victoria –Whose capital is Melbourne– is expected to be fully vaccinated, city dwellers will be able to travel throughout the state and the use of a mask outdoors will no longer be mandatory.

“There is a fundamental agreement we have reached with the community in Victoria, we have asked you to get vaccinated, you have done it in record time,” said Prime Minister Daniel Andrews.

With the vaccination campaign now moving at a rapid pace, authorities across the Australia they no longer plan to rely on extensive lockdowns to deal with the virus. Victoria announced today 1,935 new cases of coronavirus and 11 deaths.

As the state moves towards a “vaccinated economy” where only the fully immunized will be allowed to enter various areas, tthe percentage is expected to reach 90% around November 24thsaid Andrews.

“It’s our approach to trying to achieve a life as normal as possible,” Andrews said.

The Australians overwhelmingly in favor of vaccinations, with a study by the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne showing in October that only 6.9% of the population does not want to be vaccinated.

The state of New South Wales, whose capital Sydney spent 100 days in a lockdown that ended earlier this month, recorded 296 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths. Almost 85% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.

New Zealand, which is also learning to live with the virus through vaccinations, announced today 80 cases, all on the North Island of the country. Yesterday, it recorded the first COVID-19 infection in almost a year on the South Island.

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