Australia to begin easing Sydney lockdown in mid-October

Sydney, Australia, Sep 27 (EFE).- Australian authorities announced on Monday a plan to begin easing the lockdown in Sydney, the epicenter of the third Covid-19 wave in the country.

The process is set to begin after 70 percent of the target population in New South Wales state, whose capital is Sydney, has been fully vaccinated.

Australia, which has used a strategy of localized lockdowns against the spread of Covid-19, has kept the 5.4 million inhabitants of Sydney, the country’s most populated city, in confinement since Jun.26.

“We envisage…that the 70 percent double dose will happen on 11 October,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at a press conference in Sydney, referring to the vaccination target that the federal government has set for a gradual return to a “new normalcy”.

From that date, all fully vaccinated people will be able to enjoy certain freedoms such as going to restaurants, bars, theaters and hair salons.

By the end of October, when 80 percent of the population is inoculated, fully immunized citizens will be able to freely move within the state.

“Life will feel getting back to normal ideally and obviously a number of things kick in at 80 percent, including community sport, regional travel and a whole range of other things and then on 9 December will be the final stage of reopening where unvaccinated people will be able to participate,” Berejiklian added.

New South Wales, which reported 787 local infections and 12 deaths on Monday, has administered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to more than 85.5 percent of its population and both doses to 60.1 percent. It expects to inoculate 90 percent of its residents by Dec.1.

Australia has also kept some 5 million residents of Melbourne, the second most populated city in the country, under lockdown since August.

The state of Victoria, whose capital is Melbourne, reported 705 community Covid-19 infections and one death on Monday, and hopes to progressively ease its lockdown when it reaches the target 70 percent vaccination rate in the second half of October.

Australia has recorded almost 99,000 Covid-19 cases, including about 1,250 deaths, since the start of the pandemic that led the country to close its international borders in March 2020, which it intends to gradually open by Christmas this year. EFE


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