Virus Lockdowns Are Coming To An End In Two Australian Cities
Coronavirus lockdowns in two major Australian cities are expected to be lifted this week, according to authorities, after outbreaks of the Delta form were brought under control.
Stay-at-home orders are currently in place for around half of Australia’s 25 million predominantly unvaccinated residents.
While Sydney, Australia’s largest city, failed to control its epidemic, the states of Victoria and South Australia reported success.
Premier Steven Marshall of South Australia indicated on Monday that a week of stay-at-home orders would be withdrawn “most likely” in the early hours of Wednesday.
On Monday, the state of South Australia, which contains Adelaide, reported one new illness, which was previously isolated.
Some restrictions will continue to apply.
Marshall outlined lingering prohibitions on social distancing and mask-wearing, saying, “We won’t be going back to where we were.”
Restaurants will be seated-only, and smoking, dancing, and singing will be prohibited.
Authorities in Victoria, which includes Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, said the state was “on pace” to remove its lockdown early Wednesday.
On Sunday, Victoria reported 11 new cases, all of which were quarantined.
However, state Health Minister Martin Foley emphasized that no final decision had been taken and that the situation was fluid.
Melbourne’s fifth lockdown started earlier this month.
The outlook was less rosy in Sydney.
The city is dealing with its most acute Covid-19 outbreak to date, with 145 new cases reported Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 2,226.
On Friday, Sydney’s month-long curfew will almost certainly be extended.
Last week, the state government of New South Wales warned that limitations could be extended for another month or more, sparking a tens of thousands-strong protest on Saturday, which was widely criticised.
Since the outbreak, Australia has had around 33,000 illnesses and 918 fatalities linked to Covid.
Due to a shortage of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and skepticism regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine, only 13% of Australians have been inoculated.