Melbourne ending 'world's longest lockdown' as it hits 70% vaxxed rate

The city has seen six lockdowns — totalling 262 days — since March 2020.

Andrew Koay | October 17, 2021, 04:48 PM

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Melbourne is set to end its marathon lockdown at midnight on Thursday (Oct. 21) as the Australian city looks on track to reach its 70 per cent vaccination target.

According to Reuters, the city's population of 5 million people have seen six lockdowns — totalling 262 days — since March 2020.

The nearly nine-month stay-at-home mandate was reported by media as being the "longest in the world".

New freedoms

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the easing of the state's Covid-19 measures on Oct. 17, adding that Victoria was projected to pass 90 per cent first dose vaccinations on Monday or Tuesday (Oct. 18 or 19).

"[That] is a mighty effort, and something that makes us very, very proud," he was quoted by The Age as saying.

The end of the lockdown will come five days earlier than previously planned reported The Guardian.

It will see Victorians allowed to leave their homes with no travel limit within metropolitan Melbourne.

Homes will be able to receive up to 10 visitors a day, while outdoor gatherings may include up to 15 people.

A curfew — which had previously seen Melbournians required to stay at home from 9pm to 5am — will be no more, though travelling from the city to regional Victoria continues to be restricted.

Despite the announcement, the state of Victoria reported 1,838 Covid-19 cases on Oct. 17, about 86 per cent of the total number of cases in Australia.

The state also has a seven-day average of eight deaths per day as of Oct. 16.

Protests against the lockdown

Melbourne's strict lockdown had proved trying for many and saw multiple protests throughout its enforcement.

One protest in September lasted three days, attracting crowds of up to 2,000 people marching through the city.

According to ABC News, that incident culminated in riot police responding with tear gas and rubber pellets.

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Top photo by Weyne Yew on Unsplash