Sydney tastes freedom after 107 days
Six million people in Sydney exited more than three months of lockdown on Monday. The New South Wales state had been one of the world’s most prominent success stories in containing Covid-19, before it fell under some of its strictest stay-at-home orders as an outbreak of the delta variant hit in June.
Residents of the state who have received both doses of the Covid vaccine were on Monday again allowed to start visiting non-essential retail stores, pubs and gyms, with capacity limits. The government eased lockdown measures once 70 per cent of people over age 16 were fully vaccinated.
More freedoms will be introduced later this month once the threshold crosses 80 per cent, and there will be a further lifting for December 1 that will include people who are not fully vaccinated.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday that he’s in talks with the NSW government in an effort to “accelerate” a plan to open international travel, including looking at home quarantine for vaccinated Australians wanting to return to the country via Sydney. While Morrison didn’t give a timeline for when the border might reopen, News.com.au reported that the date being eyed was November 1. “There’s a long journey in front of our state,” NSW state premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters.