Australia to deconfine Sydney in mid-October with 70% vaccine rate

Sydney, Australia, Sep 9 (EFE).- Australian authorities plan to end the confinement of Sydney, the most populous city in the country, in mid-October, when it is expected to have vaccinated 70 percent of New South Wales against Covid-19, according to a roadmap announced Thursday.

Once this goal is reached, authorities would allow the reopening of bars, restaurants and gyms in the city of more than 5.3 million inhabitants, which has been confined since Jun. 26, along with other New South Wales areas.

The lack of a set date – subject to restriction and social distancing measures and the use of face masks – will take effect on the Monday after the 70 percent goal is reached.

The New South Wales roadmap is in line with a plan agreed between the federal and regional governments for the progressive reopening of borders – which closed in March 2020 – once 80 percent of the target population is fully vaccinated.

Currently, almost 40 percent of the adult population of the country’s more than 25 million people has received the full vaccine course in Australia, which expects to complete the Covid-19 immunization campaign by the end of the year.

The deconfinement roadmap announcement, which emulates the neighboring state of Victoria, comes amid warnings from professionals of the impact that the health system would suffer if restrictions are lifted and some regions refuse to reopen their internal borders.

New South Wales, which reported 1,405 local infections and 5 deaths Thursday, and accumulates almost half of the more than 66,300 infections registered in Australia since the beginning of the pandemic, expects to reach the peak of cases in October.

Victoria, which until recently maintained a zero contagion strategy, reported 317 cases Thursday, while the Australian Capital Territory, which includes Canberra, registered 15 local cases. Queensland reported one.

Australia has seen 1,065 Covid-19 deaths, of which more than 800 are linked to the outbreak detected in Melbourne in 2020 and about 200 to the one in Sydney. EFE


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