Australia eases lockdown in its coronavirus epicenter Victoria

The state at the epicenter of Australia’s Covid-19 outbreak announced an easing of restrictions on Sunday, but left many businesses shuttered until next month to ensure community transmission is further curbed.

AP
Melbourne: The state at the epicenter of Australia’s Covid-19 outbreak announced an easing of restrictions on Sunday, but left many businesses shuttered until next month to ensure community transmission is further curbed.

From midnight, the 5 million residents of Victoria state capital Melbourne, who have been under lockdown for more than 100 days, will be allowed to travel as far as 25 kilometres from their homes and the two-hour time limit on daily exercise will be scrapped, state Premier Daniel Andrews said.

The stay-at-home order will be completely lifted from Nov. 1 and the retail and hospitality sectors will largely reopen. That timeframe may be brought forward if case numbers continue to fall.


“These lockdowns have come with pain and damage and hurt, but the strategy is working,” Andrews told reporters. “As other parts of the world are going into a deadly winter, with lockdowns and restrictions that are heartbreaking,” Victoria can now “build a Covid-normal 2021,” he said.

New cases have plunged from a daily peak of 687 on Aug. 4, with infections slowing to a trickle.
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