Just a week after lifting a lockdown that lasted more than 100 days, Sydney has further eased restrictions after the state of New South Wales passed its target of fully vaccinating 80% of the eligible population.
On Monday, thousands of children returned to school after months of home learning. Up to 20 fully vaccinated people can gather in a private home, and there is no limit on the number of fully vaccinated people who can attend a funeral or wedding.
“Today’s our first day of post-80 percent life,” Dom Perrottet, the premier of New South Wales, posted to Twitter on Monday. He added: “Do the right thing.”
The easing comes as Australia has moved away from trying to eradicate COVID-19, instead aiming to vaccinate as much of its population as possible.
The goal is to begin to reopen fully once 80% of the national population is vaccinated. As of Monday, 56% of the country’s population was fully vaccinated, and 72% had one dose, according to data from The New York Times.
As part of that strategy, the city of Melbourne — which has endured among the most days in lockdown of any in the world — will lift its stay-at-home orders at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, when 70% of eligible adults are expected to be fully vaccinated.
“There will be no lockdown, no restrictions on leaving home and no curfew,” Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, told reporters Sunday. “Victorians have sacrificed so much,” he added, later pledging that the lockdown would be the city’s last.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.