State of Victoria to ease Covid restrictions

Sydney, Australia, Nov 22 (efe-epa).- Several Australian states on Sunday announced the easing of measures to contain Covid-19, after several weeks of little to no community transmissions or deaths from the disease.

In Victoria, the country’s most affected state since the pandemic broke out but which has not reported any local infections in 23 days, people will no longer be required to wear masks on the street, although they will still be required to in enclosed public places.

The Prime Minister of the state, Daniel Andrews, said Sunday that the measure would take effect from Monday.

Other measures that will be eased are limits on gatherings; starting Monday, up to 15 visitors will be allowed per household each day, while larger gatherings will also be permitted in churches, sports and recreational centers, bars, restaurants and cinemas.

“I know for some people, they’ll think this is too slow and still too restrictive. But the point is, masks are a small sacrifice that help keep all of us safe,” state premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement, in which he pointed to several examples around the world of how quickly a new outbreak can develop.

“All it takes is one case before you’ve got a much bigger outbreak,” he cautioned.

“For now, though, I want to thank Victorians. Getting here was by no means guaranteed. But we did it. You did it.

“It’s been a long, hard winter. Now, it’s time to enjoy the sun.”

Melbourne, Victoria’s largest city, emerged two weeks ago from a strict three-month lockdown, the second to affect the city since the start of the pandemic, which was triggered by reported failures at quarantine facilities.

Victorians will also be able to travel to neighboring New South Wales.

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