After nearly two months of strict lockdown, nerves in the greater Melbourne area are on edge. Now the metropolis overtakes Buenos Aires as the city with the longest curfew.
Melbourne (dpa) – A good year and a half after the start of the corona pandemic, the Australian metropolis of Melbourne has set an inglorious record.
The east coast state capital of Victoria is now in lockdown mode for a total of 246 days, Australian broadcaster ABC reported. Thus, Melbourne surpassed the previous record holder, Buenos Aires.
In Victoria, new corona infections have increased dramatically recently, last week even one record after another fell. The region has been strictly closed for almost two months – for the sixth time. Not only in the greater Melbourne area with its some five million inhabitants, the nerves of many people are therefore on edge, especially since the confinement is supposed to last several weeks.
After 80% of the population have now received at least a first dose of the vaccine, the rules were relaxed slightly last week despite numerous new infections. People are now allowed to move within a 15-kilometer radius instead of the previous 10 kilometers from their place of residence. In addition, golf and other non-contact outdoor sports are permitted again.
Australia, with its roughly 25 million inhabitants, had long pursued a zero Covid strategy and tried to eradicate the virus with closed external borders and extremely rigid measures. With the spread of the delta variant, however, several regional governments have had to admit that the strategy no longer works. Authorities are now focused on achieving the highest possible vaccination rate.