Published: Wed, February 17, 2021
Sport | By

Australia's second-largest city comes out of 3rd lockdown

Australia's second-largest city comes out of 3rd lockdown

"We're going to finish up with people being able to move freely because this short and sharp circuit-breaker lockdown has worked".

The virus cluster linked to a hotel quarantining travellers returned from overseas has grown to 19 people, but with no new cases reported Wednesday authorities said the lockdown would be lifted at 11.59 pm as planned.

Masks will be required indoors and outdoors in circumstances where physically distancing is not possible, with Andrews saying face coverings will be an "ongoing insurance policy" over the coming days.

A temporary limit on houseguests is also in place until Friday next week, with a maximum of five visitors allowed. The Australian Open has continued without spectators since.

Attendance will be capped at 7,477 per session, approximately 50 percent of Rod Laver Arena's capacity.

Funerals and weddings do not have a specific cap, but crowd numbers will be limited by the venue density limit.

Victoria State Premier Dan Andrews announced the lifting of the lockdown but said the crowds allowed into Melbourne Park for the semi-finals and finals of the Grand Slam might be reduced from the originally agreed 25,000 a day.

Women's tennis icons Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will clash in an incredible women's semifinal at 2pm on Thursday, pitting a legend against the player many believe could go on to rule the tour in the way Williams has for the past two decades.

Schools and businesses will reopen.

"We are very excited to be back to normal after what was a very rapid and disappointing decision to lock us down for the third time", he said. Both the Auckland and Melbourne outbreaks involved the more transmissible virus strain first detected in Britain.

Mr Diaco said people dining at restaurants and cafes would make "the world of difference" to small businesses.

"We will be keeping the greater metropolitan restrictions in place and they will remain until the 14 days since the community exposure is eclipsed and that will be the 25th, next Thursday", Premier Steven Marshall said.

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"I'm very, very pleased to announce that the restrictions will come off, nearly all of them, at midnight tonight", Andrews told reporters on Wednesday.

Andrews said meetings would be held later Wednesday to determine "a safe number" of attendees for the event.

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