Melbourne to end confinement after controlling 2nd COVID-19 wave

Sydney, Australia, Oct 26 (efe-epa).- Melbourne, the epicenter of the second wave of COVID-19 in Australia, will begin to end confinement and business restrictions this week, after registering zero new cases Monday.

Shops, restaurants, cafes and beauty businesses in Melbourne, the second-most populous city in the country and capital of the state of Victoria, will reopen from midnight Tuesday, and the movement of people will be allowed in the city, authorities said.

“We can say that now is the time to open up,” the head of the Victorian Government Daniel Andrews said at a press conference in Melbourne, adding that the last time the state had zero infections was on Jun. 9.

When announcing the reopening of businesses, although with restrictions on capacity and conditions to prevent infections, Andrews also said the almost 5-million people will be able to go out for any reason from midnight tomorrow.

However, the limit of travel within a radius of 25 kilometers, as well as the prohibition to leave the city will remain until Nov. 8, according to measures made public Monday.

Melbourne entered confinement for the second time Jul. 9 following the outbreak of coronavirus and almost a month later social restrictions were tightened as infections soared, although at the end of September it began to relax measures with the remission of the epidemic.

Victorian authorities have been under heavy pressure for weeks from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s executive to reopen its economy, but Andrews has always said medical advice showed that a hasty relaxation of COVID-19 measures would trigger another lockdown.

Victoria has accumulated 20,343 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, of the more than 27,500 registered throughout Australia, including 817 of the 905 deaths, a large part of them in nursing homes in Melbourne.

Australia, whose plans to reopen the economy were derailed following the outbreak in Melbourne, has about 253 active coronavirus cases.

In New South Wales, the most populous state in Australia and the second most affected by the pandemic with almost 4,400 infections, four new infections were reported Monday, one of which was by local transmission. EFE-EPA


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