Cafes, gyms and restaurants in Sydney finally reopened on Monday local time after nearly four months of closure, albeit only for vaccinated customers. Some bars in Australia’s largest city even opened a minute after midnight. Friends and relatives gathered there for a late-night beer, reports on Australian television and photos and videos on social media showed.
Sydney announced the closure four months ago due to the outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. But with 74 percent of the population over the age of 16 now fully vaccinated, the measures are now relaxed.
“I see it as a day of freedom, a day of freedom,” said Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet of New South Wales, the state in which Sydney is located. “We’re leading the nation out of this pandemic, but that’s going to be tough.” He warned that the number of infections in the city would rise due to the reopening.
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Now states that are completely coronavirus-free like Western Australia and Queensland are watching with some concern. For example, in Queensland, which borders the South Wales News, only 52 percent of the population over the age of 16 has been fully vaccinated. The country is pursuing a strategy of total elimination of the virus, through rapid and frequent closures with each infection.
New South Wales hopes to have 80 per cent of its population fully vaccinated by the end of this month. By that time, the rules will be further relaxed, for example, nightclubs will also be allowed to open again. However, anyone who has not been vaccinated must stay at home in Sydney until December 1.
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