2021-09-27 14:08:13 Sydney Charts a Path Out of Lockdown
Sydney Charts a Path Out of Lockdown
Three months after Australia’s largest city was shut down to contain the latest coronavirus outbreak, authorities have laid out a plan for reopening. If it meets a series of vaccination rate milestones, Sydney’s restrictions will begin to lift in early October, with the goal of returning to normal life by December.
Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of New South Wales, said on Monday that the city’s five million residents will begin to emerge from lockdown on October 11. By then, officials expect to have vaccinated 70% of the state’s population over the age of 16, she said. Residents of Sydney, as well as some rural areas of New South Wales that remain under lockdown, will be able to go to hairdressers and attend weddings, funerals, and small gatherings once again.
Sydney residents will be able to drink standing up in restaurants and bars and attend larger events by late October, when 80 percent of the state is expected to be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated people will still be barred from participating in those activities, according to officials, but they will be able to attend places of worship. In addition, New South Wales will allow more Australians who have been stranded abroad to return home.
On December 1, most venues, including cinemas, nightclubs, and museums, will reopen, masks will no longer be required indoors, and restrictions for unvaccinated residents will be lifted. Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, is set to come out of lockdown on Oct. 26, with 70 percent of residents over the age of 16 expected to be fully vaccinated.
In Australia, 41 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, and 63 percent has received at least one dose.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stated that he hopes to reopen the border to foreign visitors and allow Australians to travel abroad before the end of the year.