Sydney prepares to reopen Monday after reaching 70% vaccination rate

Sydney, Australia, Oct 7 (EFE).- Sydney and the rest of the state of New South Wales, the most populous in Australia, are preparing to reopen Monday after more than three months of confinement, having vaccinated 70 percent of its population against Covid-19 by Wednesday night.

“We have always said that vaccination is the key to our freedom. The sacrifices and efforts of the people throughout New South Wales have ensured we can open up as quickly and safely as possible,” said the new head of government of the New South Wales state Dominic Perrottet at a press conference in Sydney.

The milestone of administering the full dosage to 70 percent of the population aged 16 and over in New South Wales, according to a national phased plan, is a respite for the more than 5 million Sydney people confined since June 26 following an outbreak of the delta variant.

From Monday, completely vaccinated people in Sydney and other confined areas of New South Wales, which reported 584 local cases and eight deaths Thursday, will be able to move freely, receive up to 10 people at home and go to the hairdresser and other shops.

Also, up to 30 adults will be able to meet outdoors, while those vaccinated will be able to go to restaurants and pubs, with capacity restrictions and mask use, as well as celebrate weddings and funerals with a maximum of 100 people outdoors, among others freedoms.

All schoolchildren will be able to return to their classrooms in stages from Oct. 18, according to the modified roadmap presented by Perrottet, who said the amendments and the beginning of the reopening is “sensible and measured.”

New South Wales is expected to reach 80 percent of vaccinations by the end of the month, opening the door to concerts and the resumption of travel to parts of the country and overseas trips from November.

The country, which often implements strict lockdowns due to Covid-19 outbreaks, expects Melbourne, the city in the world that has spent the longest time under lockdown, and the rest of Victoria state, as well as Canberra, to reach the 70 percent vaccination mark this month.

Australia, a country that closed its international borders in March 2020, has accumulated more than 116,000 Covid-19 infections and more than 1,360 deaths since the start of the pandemic. EFE


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