Melbourne residents rushed to pubs, restaurants and hair salons on Friday after the end of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown in Australia’s second largest city lasted 262 days or almost nine months – the longest for a city in the world, reports Reuters.
According to the Agency, the capital of Argentina – Buenos Aires – went through 234 days of a lockdown last year.
In Melbourne, people were seen cheering and clapping from their balconies, and cars started honking at approx. 23:59, when the restrictions were ending.
Melbourne – end of lockdown after almost 9 months
Many venues, including eateries and even hairdressers, were opened for this occasion at an unusual hour.
Josh Mihan, owner of The Bearded Man hair salon in Melbourne, told Reuters that he had all appointments reserved for the coming month. – We all love cutting our hair and being around people. I urged my clients to make sure they had a reservation before Christmas – he noted.
Australia is opening up
Similar joyful scenes took place in the country’s largest city, Sydney, nearly two weeks ago, when restrictions began to ease due to an increase in COVID-19 immunization.
Slightly over 70 percent. Australia’s adults are now fully vaccinated, with many residents planning to fly abroad again as international border restrictions will be relaxed from November, Reuters reported.
As of November 1, fully vaccinated foreign travelers will no longer need to quarantine upon their arrival in Sydney and Melbourne. Other cities have similar plans as vaccination rates are rising.
Long lockdown in Melbourne
It was a difficult time, especially for those who do business in Melbourne. – We have been open for a year. This was our fourth blockade. It was very difficult, said David Boyle, chef at Farmer’s Daughters in Melbourne.
With relaxed restrictions, restaurants and cafes can reopen with up to 20 people indoors and 50 outdoors – all of whom must be vaccinated. 10 people maybe at homes. Wearing masks is still mandatory, the Reuters Agency said.
She also explained that the reopening is expected to give a boost to an economy worth around 2 trillion Australian dollars. Lockdowns pushed her to the brink of a second recession in two years.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JAMES ROSS