Sydney: Sydney stepped out of lockdown Monday after more than 100 days: “Freedom Day,” with rules.
Across the state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, as many as 10 vaccinated people could gather at home, with the number rising to 100 people for weddings and 500 for outdoor events. Bars and restaurants also opened, with masks required indoors when people were not eating and drinking. Some salons opened at 12:01 a.m.
With more than 70 percent of the state’s adult population fully vaccinated, the first few sips of normalcy were more than enough to celebrate.
“People can call it whatever day they want to call it,” said Dominic Perrottet, the state premier, who accidentally sprayed himself with beer as he tapped a keg to commemorate the occasion. “I just think it’s a great day for the people of our state based on the efforts and sacrifices that everyone has made.”
Nationwide, progress remains uneven. Melbourne is still locked down, with cases hovering around 1,500 a day. In Western Australia, case counts are low but only about 50 percent of people are fully vaccinated.
Details: When its outbreak started in June, Australia lacked both urgency and vaccines. New cases exploded to 1,500 a day in New South Wales. Now, after months of public compliance, case numbers there have fallen to about 500 daily. Many epidemiologists believe the country is on track to fully vaccinate 90 percent of its population, if not more.