MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Residents of the Australian city of Melbourne flocked to bars, restaurants and beauty salons on Friday after the city lifted one of the world’s strictest lockdowns to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia’s second largest city has imposed a general closure for a period of 262 days, or nearly nine months, in six separate periods since March 2020, which is the longest cumulative closing period of any city in the world.
Melbourne residents were seen cheering and applauding on balconies, with some honking cars at 1159 o’clock on Thursday, the time the city’s last nationwide lockdown since early August ended.
Many public places, including restaurants and beauty salons, opened their doors unusually early in celebration.
Just over 70 percent of Australia’s adult population has received the full dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, and many plan to travel abroad as restrictions begin to ease in November.
From November 1, arrivals from the two full-dose vaccinators in Sydney and Melbourne will no longer need to be quarantined.
Despite the outbreak of the delta strain of the Corona virus in southeastern Australia since the end of June, the numbers of HIV infections are still much lower than other countries, as Australia has so far recorded 152 thousand infections and 1590 deaths.