The Australian city of Melbourne has emerged from the sixth lockdown since the start of the pandemic.
More than five million people have spent more than 260 days under restrictions, with Melbourne dubbed the “most closed city in the world”.
This most recent blockade, which has been in effect since August, ended after 70% of the city’s population received both doses of the vaccine.
Pictures of the reopening of the city show people partying in bars.
Some people on social media have reported hearing the fireworks and cheering to celebrate.
Melbourne CBD right now pic.twitter.com/RSqCb5ej5j
– Hayden (@haydenww) October 21, 2021
However, the city’s new found freedoms are only applicable to those who have been vaccinated. Deputy Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said unvaccinated people will not be able to enjoy the lifting of the restrictions until next year.
He thanked those who were vaccinated on Twitter.
“Because of everything the Victorians have done, tomorrow we can start getting back to the things we love,” he tweeted. “Thanks Victoria, I’m so proud.”
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Even for those who have had the jab, there are still restrictions.
Residents cannot leave the city and shops will remain closed until the number of people who have received a second dose reaches 80%.
Bars and cafes can only have 20 fully vaccinated customers indoors and 50 outdoors. Hairdressers can only have five clients on their premises at the same time.
Victorian state authorities have warned that loosening the lockdown could lead to “intense pressure” in hospitals.
According to ABC News, the government is predicting that cases in the state will peak at around 4,000 per day in December.
Australia has recorded around 150,000 cases and 1,500 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
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