‘Freedom Day’: Sydney reopens as Australia looks to live with Covid-19

12 October 2021
‘Freedom Day’: Sydney reopens as Australia looks to live with Covid-19

Diners sit to eat at a city centre food court on the first day of eased restrictions for vaccinated patrons, following months of lockdown orders that mandated restaurants only serve take-away and customers couldn\'t sit to eat at such venues to curb an ou


Reuters :
Sydney's cafes, gyms and restaurants welcomed back fully vaccinated customers on Monday after nearly four months of lockdown, as Australia aims to begin living with the coronavirus and gradually reopen with high rates of inoculation.
Some pubs in Sydney, Australia's largest city, opened at 12:01 a.m. (1301 GMT Sunday) and friends and families huddled together for a midnight beer, television footage and social media images showed.
"I see it as a day of freedom, it's a freedom day," New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters in Sydney, the state capital. "We are leading the nation out of this pandemic but this will be a challenge."
Perrottet warned that infections would rise after reopening, and virus-free states such as Western Australia and Queensland are watching what living with COVID-19 is going to look like amid concerns health systems could be overwhelmed.
While NSW's dual-dose vaccination rate in people above 16 hit 74%, in neighbouring Queensland, whose borders remain closed to Sydney-siders, the rate is only 52% and the state government is following an elimination strategy with rapid lockdowns to control any outbreak.
Perrottet has declared an end to lockdowns in NSW and has strong support for reopening in Sydney, whose more than 5 million residents endured severe restrictions from mid-June following an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant.
The outbreak has since spread to Melbourne and Canberra, forcing lockdowns in those cities, even as case numbers dwindle in NSW.

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