For the first time in more than 100 days, Sydney opens to fully vaccinated people on Monday. Everything from hairdressers, gyms to cafés and bars has opened up after Australia‘s largest city met a vaccination threshold.
70 percent of the New South Wales state population aged 16 and older has been completely vaccinated. Thus, Sydney intends to reopen on Monday.
By Monday, 73.5 percent of the target population had been fully vaccinated, with over 90% receiving at least one dose.
Due to high demand from customers eager to celebrate newfound freedom, some shops stayed open until the wee hours of the morning.
At the 80% point, more pandemic restrictions will lift. New South Wales citizens will be able to travel internationally for the first time since March last year.
In the last 24 hours, New South Wales recorded 496 new infections and eight COVID-19 deaths.
As Sydney opens to the vaccinated, residents return to work and become more mobile, the infection rate will rise.
Premier Dominic Perrottet of New South Wales claimed the infection rate and the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals were lower than projected by modeling.
“So that’s positive and gives hope and confidence as we open up in a measured way we’re in a very good position to keep people safe,” Perrottet said.
“There are still restrictions in place. It’s not free for all. It is opening up in a measured way and if everyone can look after each other and respect each other, we can get people back into work. We can get businesses open, while at the same time keeping people safe,” he added.
Infections in Sydney have been declining in recent weeks. But they are yet to reach a peak in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city.
On Monday, the state of Victoria, which contains Melbourne, recorded 1,612 new cases and eight deaths.
The lockdown in Sydney began on June 26. The delta variant outbreak expanded from there to Melbourne. It shut down on August 5. Also, Canberra, the nation’s capital closed down on August 12.
COVID-19 is mainly not here in the rest of Australia. But authorities warn that delta cannot be kept out of any state or territory.
The Australian Capital Territory, which encompasses Canberra and two villages, and New South Wales are the only states in the country to meet the 70% target. On Friday, Canberra will ease pandemic restrictions. More than 95% of the target population has received at least one treatment. 72.8 percent have received all three doses.
Victoria is still a week or two behind schedule. In Victoria, 85.5 percent of people have had at least one vaccine dose, and 58.6 percent have received all of their vaccines.