Melbourne to ease more Coronavirus curbs as 80% vaccination rate nears

MELBOURNE, Oct 24 (Reuters) – Melbourne, the world’s most locked-down city that emerged from its latest spate of COVID-19 restrictions on Friday, will see more curbs eased next week when Victoria state reaches an 80% full vaccination rate, officials said on Sunday.

Home to about five million people, Melbourne endured 262 days, or nearly nine months, of stay-at-home restrictions during six lockdowns since March 2020, longer than the 234-day continuous lockdown in Buenos Aires.

Starting on Friday, when 80% of people across Victoria – of which Melbourne is the capital – are expected to be fully vaccinated, Melburnians will be free to travel throughout the state and masks will no longer be required outdoors.

“There’s a fundamental agreement that we have reached with the Victorian community, we asked you to get vaccinated, you have done that in record time and record numbers,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

With a once-sputtering vaccine rollout now at full speed, authorities across Australia no longer plan to rely on extended lockdowns to suppress the virus. Victoria recorded 1,935 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths on Sunday.

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Source: Reuters