After almost two weeks, the strict coronavirus restrictions in the Australian state of Victoria and its capital city Melbourne is to be largely lifted again.
The lockdown will end at midnight on Tuesday, state Premier Daniel Andrews announced.
“It’s not over,” Andrews told reporters on Tuesday. “We’ve got to be vigilant against this virus, the Delta strain, in the days and weeks and months ahead until we get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can.”
Schools, restaurants, gyms and shops are allowed to reopen on Wednesday. In addition, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed. However, people are still not allowed to receive guests at home.
The situation is also under control again in the state of South Australia with its capital Adelaide, and the restrictions imposed a week ago will also end here on Wednesday, Premier Steven Marshall said.
Sydney, on the other hand, remains in lockdown after about a month.
Australia virtually eliminated Covid-19 last year thanks to extremely strict rules but is now being hampered by the slow roll-out of vaccines across the country as it tries to quash new outbreaks with short, sharp lockdowns.
There has been frustration over the tough travel restrictions, with Australia’s borders largely closed since March 2020.
In the country of 25 million, around 33,000 cases have been confirmed nationwide, and 918 people have died in connection with Covid-19.