262 days to “stay in your room”. No city in the world has spent more days in lockdown than Melbourne since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But that is now changing: Despite the increase in the number of infections, Corona measures will be eased in the Australian capital next week.
mtmSource: Belga, Reuters
Six different shutdowns have all lasted for about nine months now. With 262 days, Melbourne has a “world record lockdown” according to Australian media, followed by the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires (with 234 days).
Meanwhile, the number of infections in Victoria, the Australian state and capital of Melbourne, continues to increase. On Sunday, there were still 1,838 new infections in the state. Earlier this week, there were 2,297, the highest number since the outbreak of the Corona epidemic.
But still, Daniel Andrews, Victoria’s prime minister, has good news for residents. A vaccination rate of 70 percent will be reached next week and the procedures will be able to relax. “We can be very proud of what we have achieved,” Andrews said. “We can reopen.”
Andrews announced that the measures will be relaxed next Friday. The restaurant sector and – some – stores will be allowed to open again, albeit under strict conditions such as limited capacity. Once Victoria reaches an 80 per cent vaccination rate, procedures will be more flexible and, for example, nightclubs will also be allowed to open again. This target is expected to be achieved “at the latest” by 5 November.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced last month that Australia had tried to keep the virus at bay for more than a year, but is now learning to live with Covid-19.