Sydney Readies For 'freedom Day' After Long Virus Lockdown

Sydney readies for 'freedom day' after long virus lockdown

Australia's largest city will emerge from a 106-day lockdown on Monday, as Sydney authorities confirmed coronavirus vaccination targets had been met

Sydney, Oct 7 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 7th Oct, 2021 ) :Australia's largest city will emerge from a 106-day lockdown on Monday, as Sydney authorities confirmed coronavirus vaccination targets had been met.

Stay-at-home orders will be lifted for the Harbour City's five-million-plus people now that 70 percent of state residents over 16 have been double jabbed.

"The light at the end of the tunnel is now very, very close," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday, hailing the reopening announcement.

From Monday, pubs, restaurants and shops will throw open their shutters and welcome back the fully vaccinated.

Five-kilometre travel restrictions will also be lifted, although state and international borders will remain closed for now.

The reopening -- described by many as "freedom day" -- is both "exciting" and "nerve-racking" according to Alyce Murphy, general manager of The Carrington, a Sydney pub now hustling to get staff and deliveries back on site.

"Obviously going from doing nothing for months, and then the prospect of having a few weeks to get the venue there was a little bit daunting," she said.

Murphy tried to fill the almost four-month lockdown with activities such as painting and gardening. But like millions of Australians, she "also just sat on the couch and watched tv a lot".

Australia has been spared the worst of the pandemic -- recording 1,379 deaths in a population of around 26 million.

But for the last 18 months, under-vaccinated Australian cities have endured several gruelling lockdowns to limit the spread of the virus.

Jobs have been lost, kids have missed being at school for a large portion of the academic year, and restrictions have sparked a string of mostly small but noisy protests and a flood of online misinformation.

There is growing evidence that locked-down Australians have been drinking more and existing mental conditions have worsened, according to a recent report by the country's Mental Health Think Tank.

In recent months, Australia's repeated imposition of restrictions and efforts -- now abandoned -- to reach "Covid Zero" have brought it international attention.