Melburnians enjoy first weekend after lockdown, visit parks and restaurants
MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA) – On Saturday, Melbourne residents enjoyed their first weekend after strict coronavirus lockdown curbs were lifted after four months. This comes as the number of daily new infections is on the wane steadily.
Residents of the city thronged parks, restaurants, shops and tennis courts as officials marked just one new infection and zero fatalities. It is well down from the average daily new cases of around 700 in July and August.
“We need to enjoy our lives after three months of really constrained activity,” said Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton in a briefing.
However, there are still some travel curbs and venues such as libraries and cinemas remain closed. Further easing of curbs will be announced from November 9.
When it comes to handling the pandemic, Australia has fared much better compared to other developed nations and it recorded just over 27,500 cases and 907 fatalities so far. As of Friday, there were less than 200 active cases.
On Saturday, the federal government said it would spend A$500 million ($351 million) over the next three years to enable countries in the Pacific and Southeast Asia roll out vaccination programmes against COVID-19.
It has tied up with Britain’s AstraZeneca Plc and University of Queensland for potential shots and has promised to give free vaccination to all citizens and donations to partners in the region.