Melbourne to end world’s longest lockdown on Friday

18:39, 17 October 2021
Melbourne to end world’s longest lockdown on Friday Photo: pixabay

Most restrictions will be lifted next week thus terminating a series of lockdowns totaling 262 days.

One of the largest Australian cities Melbourne is eliminating its lockdown restrictions next Friday, local authorities announced on Sunday.

Since the pandemic outbreak, the city has been under six lockdowns whose total length will have reached 262 days by Friday. No other city in the world has imposed COVID restrictions for such a long period as the second place is occupied by Argentina’s Buenos Aires with 234 days of lockdown.

The decision has been made as the city’s vaccination rates have exceeded 70%, the required threshold for lifting restraints. The next threshold has been set for 80% of the fully vaccinated population.

"Today is a great day. Today is a day when Victorians can be proud of what they have achieved," said the Victoria state’s Premier Daniel Andrews.

Melbourne’s authorities have allowed hospitality venues and certain businesses to reopen, however, their capacity will remain limited.

The lockdown termination will take place even despite the growing number of new cases in Victoria. It recorded more than 1,800 new cases on Sunday compared with 301 cases reported in New South Wales whose capital is Sydney. More than 80% of the state’s population have been fully vaccinated.

Apart from Melbourne’s lockdown termination, Australia will also resume a free travel regime with New Zealand's South Island on Wednesday. Australian authorities have also announced they were working on opening traveling borders with Singapore.

Last week Sydney announced lifting the lockdown which lasted for 106 days. Australia has recorded a total of some 130,000 cases and 1,448 deaths since the pandemic outbreak.