Vaccination has significantly reduced cases since it began. Thus, COVID-related restrictions around the world are gradually being lifted. On Sunday, Melbourne’s authorities said the stay-at-home restrictions would be lifted this week, which is the longest COVID-19 lockdown in the world. The city of 5 million Australian citizens has been under six lockdowns spanning 262 days since March 2020.
It is the longest shutdown in history, surpassing Buenos Aires’ 234-day lockdown. It is estimated that the government’s double-vaccination ratio will exceed 70% this week, allowing restrictions to be eased. Coronavirus infections remain high in Victoria State, but vaccination rates are expected to reach 70%. In Victoria, 1,838 new Coronavirus infections were reported, with seven deaths. In the region, 80% of people have received both vaccinations. Vaccination coverage of 80% makes lockdowns extremely unlikely.
Experts in Australia say quarantine-free travel from the South Island of New Zealand, where there is no infection, will continue on Wednesday. Singapore is also in talks about resuming travel between the two countries for those who have received both vaccines. Despite the recent increase in cases, Australia’s Coronavirus statistics are still low when compared with many other advanced countries.
Likewise, New Zealand is speeding up vaccinations to deal with COVID-19; the country reported 51 new cases on Sunday, 47 of them in Auckland, the country’s largest city that has been under restrictions since August. During a government mass immunization campaign on Saturday, more than 2.5 percent of New Zealand’s population was vaccinated.