Published on : Monday, October 11, 2021
Sydney emerges from lock down after almost four months, with locals celebrating a range of new freedoms.
People queued for pubs and shops that opened at midnight on Monday specifically for the occasion.
Many others have been enjoying anticipated reunions and visits to the homes of relatives and friends.
COVID rules had banned household visits and travel beyond a 5 Km (3.1 miles) zone, separating many families.
But most restrictions have now been eased for fully vaccinated people.
People can now share meals together at reopened cafes and restaurants, and visit gyms, libraries, and pools. There were long queues for barbers and nail salons on Monday.
The Lord Gladstone Hotel, an inner city pub, was doing a roaring lunch trade after months of limited trading and takeaway-only options.
The pub’s licensee stated that they were stoked to be back and were having the best Monday in months, even before COVID.
People are just ready to come back and sit down for a schooie [beer], see their friends, be somewhere there’s always music playing.
Australia’s biggest city was allowed to exit lock down after the state of New South Wales (NSW) reached a 70% double-dose vaccination target for over 16s.
More restrictions will ease when 80% of over 16s are fully vaccinated. Currently, over 90% have received a first dose.
Mr Perrottet warned that NSW was bracing for a surge in COVID cases, but said the healthcare system had been preparing for weeks.
The state has not yet imposed a system to check vaccination status, leaving it up to individual businesses.
Sydney’s lock down began in late June after a Delta variant outbreak took hold, leading to over 50,000 infections and 439 deaths so far.