The Australian state of Victoria, the epicenter of the second wave of covid-19 in Australia, today announced the lifting of the confinement as of Tuesday, after not having registered any new cases in the last 24 hours.
Shops, restaurants and cafes in Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria and the second most populous city in the country, will reopen at midnight on Tuesday, and residents will be allowed to move again, local officials announced today.
"We can say that now is the time to open up," said Victoria Andrews, head of government, visibly moved, at a press conference in Melbourne, recalling that the last time the state had zero infections was on June 9.
Confinement was enacted in July, when the number of new cases was about 190 per day, a figure that rose to 700 in August.
Andrews explained that the nearly five million inhabitants could take to the streets for any reason as of midnight on Tuesday.
However, the limit for travel within a radius of 25 kilometers, as well as the ban on leaving the city, will remain until November 8, according to the same source.
Despite the effectiveness of the measures to contain the first wave of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, Melbourne suffered an outbreak of cases in the summer, mainly due to negligence in hotels where people returned from abroad fulfilled the mandatory quarantine.
Melbourne's five million inhabitants were subject to severe restrictions, including an overnight curfew that was lifted in late September after nearly two months.
Residents were forced to stay at home and could only travel within a five kilometer radius.
Some restrictions were lifted last week, allowing residents to play golf or get a haircut.
Australia, with a population of 25 million, has had approximately 27.500 cases since the start of the pandemic and 905 deaths due to covid-19.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 1,1 million deaths and almost 42,7 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report by the French agency AFP.