Australia’s second largest city Melbourne will exit a Covid lockdown as planned today, Victoria state authorities said, although some restrictions on travel and gatherings would likely remain for another week.
After two weeks in a strict lockdown that forced people to remain home except for essential business, Melbourne’s 5mn residents will get more freedom to step outside from 11:59pm local time (1359 GMT) today.
However, people must stay within 25kms of their homes, officials said, in an effort to stop transmission during an upcoming long weekend.
There will also be a total ban on house gatherings and masks will be mandatory indoors.
“This is a good day,” Victoria state acting premier James Merlino told reporters in Melbourne yesterday.
“But we know this isn’t over yet and until we have widespread vaccination across Victoria and the country, the virus will still be with us.”
Merlino said further easing of restrictions for Melbourne could happen within a week barring any spike in cases.
Australia has effectively reined in Covid-19, recording just over 30,200 cases and 910 deaths, due to speedy tracing systems, snap lockdowns and strict social distancing rules.
A 44-year-old woman tested positive in Queensland state, authorities said yesterday, after driving from Victoria, through New South Wales, earlier this month.
Authorities said there was no immediate evidence of community transmission and no new restrictions on residents have been issued.
Queensland’s state capital of Brisbane last went into a snap lockdown in late March to contain an outbreak that was quickly suppressed.
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