Victoria state to end snap lockdown, allow fans at Australian Open

Prior to the lockdown, crowd numbers at the tournament were restricted to 25,000 and that could be reduced further for the final four days of the tournament, Andrews said. The lockdown in Victoria, Australia's second-most populous state, was sparked by the discovery of COVID-19 cases in a Melbourne quarantine hotel.

Reuters | Updated: 17-02-2021 06:41 IST | Created: 17-02-2021 06:41 IST
Victoria state to end snap lockdown, allow fans at Australian Open

A five-day snap lockdown in Australia's Victoria state will end on Wednesday, officials said as they reported no new cases in a cluster linked to a quarantine hotel in the city of Melbourne. State Premier Daniel Andrews said most mobility restrictions will be lifted at midnight, but masks will remain mandatory both indoors and outdoors when social distancing rules cannot be followed.

"In a broader sense, we are safe and open," Andrews said in a televised media conference, but cautioned the latest outbreak had not yet been fully contained. The lifting of restrictions will allow at least some spectators at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, where players have competed in empty stadiums during the lockdown.

"There will be meetings early this afternoon ... where we will go through what is a safe number and will get that decision made as soon as possible," Andrews said. Under the pre-lockdown agreement with Victoria government, crowds would have been limited to 25,000 for each day fo the final four days but Andrews said that figure might be reduced further.

Officials had allowed 30,000 spectators for each of the first eight days of the event - about half the normal attendance. Prior to the lockdown, crowd numbers at the tournament were restricted to 25,000 and that could be reduced further for the final four days of the tournament, Andrews said.

The lockdown in Victoria, Australia's second-most populous state, was sparked by the discovery of COVID-19 cases in a Melbourne quarantine hotel. The number of cases swelled to 19, but no new infections were reported on Wednesday.

Residents of the state, more than a quarter of Australia's 25 million population, were ordered to stay home except for work, buying groceries, outdoor exercise and caregiving. Australia has largely avoided the high rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths seen in other developed countries thanks to border closures and effective contact tracing systems. It has reported just under 29,000 cases and 909 deaths.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Viral variants and vaccine nationalism pose two-pronged threat to Covid victory

... ...

Tracking Fintech during COVID-19: Harnessing power of technology

Its abundantly clear now that as fintech cements its place in the financial sector, accelerated further by the COVID-19 pandemic, it could open the sector to new possibilities by harnessing the power of technology to deliver financial ...

Tectonic turns: How technology shaped healthcare over the decades

Tracing an episodic evolution, with technology at the interface of human and his health....

World Water Day sees crises of inequality in countries both rich and poor

... ...

Videos

Latest News

US President Biden announces complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

US President Joe Biden has announced that all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this year, thus bringing to end the countrys longest war, spanning across two decades.US troops, as well as forces deployed by...

EXCLUSIVE-India, Pakistan held secret talks to try to break Kashmir impasse

Top intelligence officers from India and Pakistan held secret talks in Dubai in January in a new effort to calm military tension over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, people with close knowledge of the matter told Reuters in Delhi....

Beijing's top official in Hong Kong warns foreign powers not to interfere

Beijings top representative in Hong Kong said on Thursday that any foreign powers that try to use the global financial centre as a pawn will face counter measures, amid escalating tensions between the city and Western governments.Luo Huinin...

U.S. set to slap new sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday -sources

The United States will announce sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday for alleged election interference and malicious cyber activity, targeting several individuals and entities, people familiar the matter said. The sanctions, in which 30 ...

Give Feedback