the inhabitants of Sydney, the most populous city in Australia, faced the gray skies and rain to take to the streets this Monday (11), after almost four months of confinement due to an outbreak of the Delta variant of covid-19.

Sydney’s more than five million people spent 106 days in ‘lockdown’ to contain the coronavirus.

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The suspension of restrictions was possible due to the decline in infections and the increase in vaccination, which affects more than 70% of the population over 16 years of age.

Cafes and restaurants opened their doors to the vaccinated, while disheveled people lined up in front of hairdressers to get a haircut.

“The weather is great this morning,” said Hannah Simmons, owner of Gordon’s Café in Clovelly’s beach district, who has managed to keep her food delivery business going.

For many, the end of confinement was an opportunity to go shopping. At midnight, hundreds of people rushed to the Kmart discount store and images on social media showed long lines inside the venue.

Since June, stores, schools, classrooms and offices have been closed to non-essential workers, with unprecedented restrictions on individual freedoms.

The restrictions were applied to everything from traveling more than three miles from home, visiting relatives, playing sports, going to supermarkets and attending funerals.

“Few countries have taken such severe or extreme measures against covid as Australia,” Tim Soutphommasane, an academic and former commissioner for racial discrimination in the country, told AFP.

There will be limits on crowds, while international borders and schools will remain completely closed for a few more weeks.

Australia has managed to contain coronavirus infections through border closures, roadblocks and an aggressive testing policy.

But the Delta variant ended the dream of “zero covid”, especially in the big cities of Sydney and Melbourne.

Every week there’s a new episode of the Politics podcast, which keeps you even more informed about covid-19. Available below or on audio platforms Spotify, Deezer, Google Podcasts e Apple Podcasts

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