After 111 days of lockdown, the state of Victoria in Australia is making global news headlines for its response to the coronavirus crisis. Initially seen as the epicentre of Australia’s outbreak, the state was forced into extreme measures as cases rose to over 700 per day at one point in the summer.
However, strict restrictions are seen to have been working and State Premier Dan Andrews released a statement on his Facebook page congratulating Victorians on their ‘courage, determination and kindness’. Andrews describes 2020 as ‘a year like no other. With the odds truly stacked against us’, but concluded it was the Victorian people’s sacrifice and ‘That’s something I’m proud of – and something every single Victorian should be proud of too.’
The restrictions are lifted following the success of an extended period of lockdown, with harsh social distances measures and travel restrictions helping to flatten the curve. The state has now seen no new cases and has not recorded more than 20 new cases in the past month.
The news comes as figures from Europe and the USA continue to rise – as does their resulting death toll. The USA has now recorded over 225,000 deaths from the virus, with the UK’s reaching nearly 45,000 this week giving it the fifth largest death toll worldwide. Brazil, India and Mexico also feature amongst some of the hardest-hit countries.
Restrictions will be lifted on Tuesday 3rd November 2020 at 11:59 PM, with people encouraged to stay working from home and to follow social distancing rules. Masks are also being thoroughly encouraged by Premier Andrews as he addressed the state following the announcement. Some restrictions, such as a travel limit between metropolitan Melbourne and the surrounding area, will remain in place to ease the state out of lockdown and prevent an uptake again in the number of new cases.