Australia lifts Melbourne curfew as Covid-19 cases subside

Sydney, Australia, Sep 27 (efe-epa).- Australia is set to lift the curfew restrictions in the city of Melbourne – the second most populated of the country – as the coronavirus infections in the city have subsided, Victoria state authorities said on Sunday.

The curfew, which was in place between 9 pm and 5 am, will be lifted from Monday as part of the second phase of a gradual reopening process of the lockdown, devised by the Victoria state government, which could continue until the end of the year.

“We are getting to one, two, three community cases per day, and so (…) it is my view and it was the public health team’s view, that the curfew is not a proportionate measure to have in place going forward,” Victoria’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, said in a statement published by state broadcaster ABC.

The government of Victoria, which contributes more than 20 percent of the Australian economy, had on Jul. 9 ordered a lockdown in Melbourne, a city of 5 million inhabitants, due to a second outbreak which was supposedly caused by violation of norms in quarantine centers for travelers coming abroad.

Although the curfew has been lifted, authorities have kept the limit of public gatherings to five people and the wearing of masks in public places continues to be mandatory, while restaurants and cafes will also remain shut except for take-away orders.

The next step of the Covid-19 recovery roadmap is expected to kick in from Oct. 19, a week ahead of schedule, while classes in educational institutions are set to resume from Oct. 12, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced.

Victoria has registered 20,129 coronavirus cases so far, out of the total 27,016 recorded in Australia, and accounts for 782 of the 870 deaths caused by the disease. EFE-EPA


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