The Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, confirmed on Tuesday that the region’s strict coronavirus lockdown will end on Friday, despite the ongoing third wave of the pandemic.
According to local reports, Barr announced that stay-at-home restrictions for Canberra residents will be lifted as planned at midnight on Thursday night, bringing the lockdown in Australia’s capital to an end after 64 days.
Restaurants, cafes, bars, non-essential retail, hairdressers, and personal care services in Canberra will reopen on Friday, subject to density restrictions.
Up to 25 Canberra residents will be permitted to gather outside, and up to five people will be permitted to visit another household.
Covid-19 case numbers will rise as the lockdown ends, according to Barr, but 72 percent of over-12-year-olds in the ACT are now fully vaccinated against the virus.
“Our first dose levels indicate that this will reach close to 99 per cent fully vaccinated towards the end of November,” he told reporters.
“Case numbers are expected to increase as restrictions are eased. But being fully vaccinated provides you with protection.”
Australia reported 1,854 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, the fewest since late September, as the country battles the third wave.
The new cases brought the total number of infections to 131,415 and the death toll to 1,461.
According to the most recent Department of Health data, approximately 82.4 percent of Australians aged 16 and over have received one Covid vaccine dose, and 62.4 percent have been fully vaccinated.