world's longest COVID lockdown

People pour into the streets to celebrate after the longest COVID lockdown in the world finally ends in Melbourne after 262 days

Friends reunited, beers were drank and millions rejoiced in jubilant scenes across the streets of Melbourne as the clock struck midnight, with long-suffering residents cheering on the end of the world's longest lockdown. Victoria officially lifted its stay-at-home orders at 11:59pm on Thursday after the beleaguered state smashed its 70 percent Covid vaccination target late into the evening. Revelers screamed in celebration from their apartment balconies, while car horns could be heard blaring in the background as overjoyed Melburnians got their first taste of freedom since August.

Friends reunited, beers were drank and millions rejoiced in jubilant scenes across the streets of Melbourne as the clock struck midnight, with long-suffering residents cheering on the end of the world’s longest lockdown. Victoria officially lifted its stay-at-home orders at 11:59pm on Thursday after the beleaguered state smashed its 70 percent Covid vaccination target late into the evening. Revelers screamed in celebration from their apartment balconies, while car horns could be heard blaring in the background as overjoyed Melburnians got their first taste of freedom since August.

The city has endured a cumulative 262 grueling days in lockdown - a world record - with non-essential businesses forced to shut and millions trapped in their homes, banned from going outside after 9pm or traveling more than 5km (3.1M).

The city has endured a cumulative 262 grueling days in lockdown – a world record – with non-essential businesses forced to shut and millions trapped in their homes, banned from going outside after 9pm or traveling more than 5km (3.1M).

Now that double-jabbed residents are finally free, it mirrored a wild New Year's Eve celebration in the nation's culinary capital as party animals descended on pubs proudly flashing their vaccination status upon entry to eagerly awaiting hospitality staff, who had spent much of the day getting ready for the influx of patrons.

Now that double-jabbed residents are finally free, it mirrored a wild New Year’s Eve celebration in the nation’s culinary capital as party animals descended on pubs proudly flashing their vaccination status upon entry to eagerly awaiting hospitality staff, who had spent much of the day getting ready for the influx of patrons.

Jubilant scenes played out as swarms of residents descended on bars and restaurants to finally reunite with their mates at long last.

Jubilant scenes played out as swarms of residents descended on bars and restaurants to finally reunite with their mates at long last.

Even fast food chains like McDonald's saw staggering crowds with video showing diners lined out into the parking lot, keen to finally enjoy a late night feast after months under a tough 9pm curfew.

Even fast food chains like McDonald’s saw staggering crowds with video showing diners lined out into the parking lot, keen to finally enjoy a late night feast after months under a tough 9pm curfew.

Some hair salons also opened their doors for those who couldn't wait a moment longer to get a much needed cut. But, while there's a major sense of relief that the worst of the coronavirus crisis is now over, it's still too early to ditch face masks, which remains mandatory indoors and outdoors unless eating or drinking.

Some hair salons also opened their doors for those who couldn’t wait a moment longer to get a much needed cut. But, while there’s a major sense of relief that the worst of the coronavirus crisis is now over, it’s still too early to ditch face masks, which remains mandatory indoors and outdoors unless eating or drinking.

While residents can now freely move around the Metropolitan area however regional travel is still off the cards for now. A number of other hated restrictions will also still be in place along with strict capacity limits on venues and events.

While residents can now freely move around the Metropolitan area however regional travel is still off the cards for now. A number of other hated restrictions will also still be in place along with strict capacity limits on venues and events.

The vaccination rate will have to surpass 80 percent before nightclubs, dancing in venues and stand-up drinking is allowed.

The vaccination rate will have to surpass 80 percent before nightclubs, dancing in venues and stand-up drinking is allowed.

General retail shops will also have to wait until the next vaccination milestone, predicted to be achieved in early November, before trading can return to normal.

General retail shops will also have to wait until the next vaccination milestone, predicted to be achieved in early November, before trading can return to normal.

From midnight, however, non-essential stores are able to operate outdoors or with click and collect services. Entertainment venues, including cinemas and physical recreation, can go ahead with a maximum of 20 people indoors and 50 outdoor.

From midnight, however, non-essential stores are able to operate outdoors or with click and collect services. Entertainment venues, including cinemas and physical recreation, can go ahead with a maximum of 20 people indoors and 50 outdoor.

The long awaited reopening was originally supposed to take place on October 26, but it was fast-tracked by premier Andrews, who praised Victorians on their 'mighty' effort rolling their sleeves.

The long awaited reopening was originally supposed to take place on October 26, but it was fast-tracked by premier Andrews, who praised Victorians on their ‘mighty’ effort rolling their sleeves.

During the grueling lockdown period, the city has been marred by violent anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protests, which have seen hundreds arrested for clashing with police.

During the grueling lockdown period, the city has been marred by violent anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown protests, which have seen hundreds arrested for clashing with police.

Victoria Police has also copped criticism for its heavy-handed approach to enforcing the harsh lockdown restrictions.

Victoria Police has also copped criticism for its heavy-handed approach to enforcing the harsh lockdown restrictions.

But the vast majority of weary residents complied with the restrictions and raced to get vaccinated.

But the vast majority of weary residents complied with the restrictions and raced to get vaccinated.

It was martinis in the moonlight for this group of friends who traveled to Melbourne's Prahran for their first night of freedom.

It was martinis in the moonlight for this group of friends who traveled to Melbourne’s Prahran for their first night of freedom.

Anyone entering any non-essential venue in the state must prove their vaccination status upon entry when they check in via QR code with the Service Victoria app. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: 'The longest road has been journeyed in Victoria and that long road really starts to open up tonight.'

Anyone entering any non-essential venue in the state must prove their vaccination status upon entry when they check in via QR code with the Service Victoria app. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: ‘The longest road has been journeyed in Victoria and that long road really starts to open up tonight.’

Despite the success of the vaccination campaign, Covid cases in Victoria are still stubbornly high. There were 2,232 new locally-acquired infections on Thursday as well as 12 more deaths.

Despite the success of the vaccination campaign, Covid cases in Victoria are still stubbornly high. There were 2,232 new locally-acquired infections on Thursday as well as 12 more deaths.

The number of fatalities in Victoria since the pandemic has now risen to 1,005, with a majority coming during the state's disastrous second wave from July to October in 2020.

The number of fatalities in Victoria since the pandemic has now risen to 1,005, with a majority coming during the state’s disastrous second wave from July to October in 2020.

The total number of cases in Victoria since the pandemic reached Australians shores now sits at 73,151, with 22,889 infections still active.

The total number of cases in Victoria since the pandemic reached Australians shores now sits at 73,151, with 22,889 infections still active.

There are 779 Covid patients currently in hospital in the state and 141 of those cases are in intensive care, with 96 people breathing through a ventilator.

There are 779 Covid patients currently in hospital in the state and 141 of those cases are in intensive care, with 96 people breathing through a ventilator.

Source

You May Also Like

Covid Australia: Snag may dash overseas holidays

A worker shortage of baggage handlers and airport ground staff could derail…

Should I Try To Get Omicron? No, You Should Not Try to Get Omicron – Here’s Why?

Omicron is so contagious that many people, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, will get infected during this wave. Here’s Why you should run from it.

Indian-Australians split from family slam Annastacia Palaszczuk’s offensive Covid-19 border comment

Indian-Australians who have been separated from their families throughout the Covid-19 pandemic…

Why Australia ‘s Covid cases, hospital numbers and death toll won’t soar like Britain after lockdown

Why Australia ‘s Covid cases, hospital numbers and deaths WON’T balloon-like Britain’s…