Thursday, February 25, 2021

Curfew lifted in Melbourne as Covid-19 cases fall

But Australia's PM wants more restrictions lifted quickly out of fears for the mental well-being of Melburnians.

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Covid-19 cases  are falling in Melbourne, Australia, and so several of the restrictions under which residents have been living were lifted today.

The city was under a tight nightly curfew from 9pm to 5am, which Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews announced late on Sunday night would be lifted.

From Monday, Melburnians can return to work, and meet outside in groups of up to five people from two households.

The limit of one person going shopping once per day has also been removed.

“Seven weeks ago, our average case numbers were peaking at more than 400 every single day,” Andrews said on Sunday. “Today, Melbourne’s rolling case average is 22.1. It’s a remarkable thing, and an achievement that belongs to every single Victorian.”

But Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is urging Andrews to ease more restrictions in the coming weeks.

Morrison said, “As it stands, this lockdown is already longer than that faced by residents in many cities around the world. We remain deeply concerned about the mental health impacts of a prolonged lock down on Melbourne residents.”

Melbourne was hit more severely than other Australian cities.

Its coronavirus infections soared in late July and early August, peaking at nearly 700 cases in a day, causing Andrews to declare a state of disaster across the state of Victoria on Aug 2.

This Monday, Victoria recorded only five new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, the lowest daily increase in 108 days, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

With the Victoria outbreak contained, the number of cases has stayed low in Australia’s other states as well. According to CNN, on Sunday only two other states apart from Victoria reported cases: seven in Western Australia, and one in Queensland.

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