Politics

Melbourne celebrates as Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown finally eases


There have been celebrations in Melbourne overnight as the longest COVID-19 lockdown of any city in the world cautiously eased.

After more than 260 nights lost to stay-at-home orders, people were ready to enjoy the lifting of some restrictions from 11.59pm on Thursday.

The first step out of lockdown came after Victoria reached the target of 70 per cent of the eligible population vaccinated against COVID-19.

Clients at Joey Scandizzo’s salon in South Yarra after the end of Melbourne’s lockdown. (Cassandra Morgan)

From today, every student can return to class, the curfew is abolished, you can finally get a haircut, and up to 10 people and visit homes each day.

And it’s all thanks to Victorians rolling up their sleeves

“When the clock strikes midnight … the lockdown is over,” Deputy Premier James Merlino said.

Victoria has also reached 90 per cent of its eligible population having received a first dose of the vaccine, a positive indicator of take-up amongst the community.

The vaccine achievements are milestones Acting Chief Health Officer Professor Ben Cowie never believed Victoria would reach in October.

A view of Melbourne at night. (Nine)

Lockdown number six was ordered on August 4 — a seven-day circuit-breaker that ended up lasting 77.

“I really could not be more pleased to be the one who gets to sign them (the restrictions) away again tonight,” he said.

The state government is expected to announce more easing of restrictions today, with overseas travellers set to be allowed in without having to quarantine if they have been double vaccinated and tested negative to COVID-19.



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