Victorians and local businesses are celebrating the end of the two-week harsh blockade, but many warn that they will not “snap back” into life as usual.
Two weeks after a stay-at-home order, Melbourne’s most stringent restrictions were lifted at 11:59 pm last night after a new virus case was recorded on Tuesday.
“Today is a good day. Everyone should be absolutely proud of what we all achieved together,” said Acting Prime Minister James Merlino of Victoria.
He said joint efforts stopped the outbreak in the city. And it saw more than 80 people positive for either the kappa or delta strains that occurred in India.
“But we know this isn’t over yet, and the virus is still with us until we vaccinate Victoria and our entire country extensively.” Mr. Merrino said.
Residents of Melbourne cannot travel more than 25 km from their homes or take visitors, but groups of up to 10 people can get together.
Schools, cafes and hairdressers can be reopened, but gyms and nightclubs must remain closed for at least another week.
People on social media responded differently, with some pride, depression, and many commenting that they wouldn’t notice much change after the blockade was closed.
Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer of Victoria, said the situation remains “quite volatile” and cannot be “snapped back” without restrictions.
“We need to move safely little by little, but we will continue to control this with the minimum limits we know,” he said.
Paul Guerra, CEO of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce, said companies were still under pressure while the blockade was welcomed.
“The news today is good, but it’s not the snapback we wanted. We rushed in, but crawled out. Most businesses across the state are now open, but Victoria In order to maintain work, businesses, livelihoods, culture and prosperity in the state, we need to further relax the restrictions so that all businesses can return to viable trade as soon as possible, “he said. .. .. “The negative impact of these restrictions on mental health is enormous, as is the damage to our reputation and confidence.”
“It’s great to see the Victoria region take a step further from the blockade, and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce advocates that the state reunite quickly. All companies in the state will be open tomorrow. Not possible, and some companies continue to lose money every day until the regulations are further relaxed, “Gera said. “Our tourism department will miss this weekend, but we expect visitors to return to the area from next weekend onwards.
The change to Metropolitan Victoria will allow the office to welcome 25% of its staff or 10 people, whichever is greater.
For hospitality, you can eat up to 100 people (50 inside) with a density limit of 1 person per 4 square meters. Retail stores and indoor entertainment venues can be opened with density restrictions. Hairdressing, cosmetology and personal services can be opened for service You can wear masks and outdoor sports and group fitness classes can be run with a cap of 10 people.
Indoor sports, gyms, pools and recreation remain closed, unmasked beauty services are not allowed, and private indoor gatherings are not allowed, but the government is in the process of further support for these sectors. Indicates that there is.
In Victoria, hospitality and entertainment densities are becoming more limited, masks can come off indoors (including cosmetological services), and indoor sports, gyms, pools, and recreation can be opened. However, the tourism sector in Victoria has not recovered due to travel restrictions for metropolitan residents to continue.
When Victoria faced similar blockade restrictions last October, the state government demanded zero active cases to reopen the state.
Australia is one of the few countries in the world free of endemic infections, with a population of 25 million, 30,000 Covid-19 cases and less than 1000 deaths.
With the exception of travelers from New Zealand, the border remains closed to most travelers and authorities impose restrictions as soon as an incident is detected.
The virus is believed to have leaked up to 18 times in six months from a temporary hotel quarantine facility in Australia, and the system has been closely monitored in recent weeks.
Outbreaks in Taiwan and Japan also emphasized how quickly the first successful containment of the virus could be eroded without widespread vaccination.
Australia has given about 5.2 million jabs as of Monday, but only a small percentage of people are fully vaccinated.