MELBOURNE, Australia—In a rare bit of good news during this pandemic, one city has finally seen success in their fight against Covid.
After 111-days, the lockdown was lifted from Australia’s second-most populous city: Melbourne.
Like a bear shaking off the detritus after a long winter’s hibernation, Melbourne residents emerged from their dwellings on their own volition without permission.
Residents are not without restrictions: the city’s 5 million residents will still be limited to traveling within 25 kilometers (about 16 miles) of their homes.
The lifting of restrictions will be an economic boon to the city. According to the state government of Victoria, 180,000 jobs—mostly in the service industry of shops, cafes, salons, restaurants, and bars—will begin to return to some semblance of normalcy. Places of worship are now open as well.
On Monday, for the first time since June, zero new coronavirus cases were reported, thus allowing for the easing of restrictions.
During a media briefing, the state’s top official, Daniel Andrews, declared: “Now is the time to open up…Now is the time to congratulate every single Victorian for staying the course.”
While Europe is grappling with the second wave of coronavirus outbreaks and new lockdowns, Australia has been able to keep a relatively tight lid on the spread of the virus, despite cases spiking in July and August.
Victoria had strong reasons to stay in lockdown for over 100-days: out of the 907 in the country who had died from coronavirus-related deaths, 819 were from Victoria.
Over the last five weeks, the government has reported a weekly average of about 123 new cases.
Besides being a surfing paradise and a source of wild, untamed beauty, Australia is now seen as a model for how to deal with the pandemic.
All the more reason to visit down under when the pandemic subsides.
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