The Delta variant is forcing Australia into a long lockdown. Now Sydney is loosening the regulations for vaccinated people for the first time.
Sydney – For a long time, Australia got through the pandemic * with the “No-Covid” * strategy. But the delta variant * has changed that. Everything has been at a standstill in the greater Sydney area since July – until now, because cafes and co. Are open again, but only for vaccinated people. After 106 days, the strict Corona * lockdown in the Australian state of New South Wales was ended.
The measures were eased considerably on Monday after over 70 percent of the population had received their second dose of vaccine the previous week. The vaccination rate in Australia is currently (11.10.2021) almost 62 percent nationwide. The media celebrated the easing as “Freedom Day”. However, the new freedoms only apply to those who are fully vaccinated.
Corona crisis: Delta outbreak forces Australia into lockdown
Due to a corona outbreak in the region triggered by the delta variant, citizens have only been allowed to leave their homes in exceptional cases since July. According to the authorities, 63,000 cases of infection and more than 430 deaths in connection with Covid-19 have been recorded since then.
“We are leading the nation out of the pandemic,” said regional premiere Dominic Perrottet. However, he noted that there will be challenges in doing so. “We have to learn to live with the virus.”
“All of our courses were fully booked today” – Sydney eases corona requirements
Vaccinated people can now meet outside in groups of up to 30 people. Ten people are allowed to meet in houses. Shops, restaurants and hairdressers can reopen, but only if the distance rules are observed, which also applies to museums, cinemas and fitness studios. “All of our courses were fully booked today,” said the owner of a fitness center in Leichhardt, a district of Sydney, to the Australian broadcaster ABC.
Hairdressers also experienced a huge rush. Perrottet also had his hair cut immediately. The number of visitors to stadiums and zoos was initially limited to 5,000. Schools are scheduled to reopen on October 25th. There will be further easing when 80 percent of the population of New South Wales will be vaccinated.
Australia: East coast has long been the hotspot – Melbourne continues to struggle with heavy waves
The state on the east coast has long been the worst region of the country hit by a corona wave. At the beginning of September, more than 1500 new cases were reported per day. On Monday the number was 496. However, the neighboring state of Victoria with the megacity Melbourne is still fighting a serious wave of infections.
Thanks to strict rules, closed external borders and the isolated island location, Australia was successful in the fight against the virus for a long time. The government pursued a “zero covid strategy”, which however could no longer be maintained with the emergence of the highly contagious Delta variant. A total of 127,000 cases have been confirmed nationwide – with a population of 25 million. Around 1,430 people have died in connection with Covid-19. (Lukas Zigo with dpa) * fr.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.
Headline list image: © Joel Carrett / dpa