The Prime Minister of the State praised the residents of the Australian city for respecting the strict rules imposed after fleeing the quarantine of the hotel.
Melbourne authorities will release a COVID-19 blockade as planned Thursday evening, saying people’s adherence to strict rules had “changed the course” of a coronavirus outbreak in Australia’s second largest city .
Melbourne’s five million residents have he had to stay home for everyone, but for the most essential reasons in the past two weeks following a group of emerging cases that were linked to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which is thought to be more transmissible.
The relaxation will take effect from 23.59 pm local time (13:59 GMT) on Thursday, although some restrictions on travel and meetings will remain in place for a week later.
“It’s a good day. Everyone should be absolutely proud of what we have all achieved together, ”James Merlino, Victoria’s prime minister, told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“But we know this is not over yet and until we have a widespread vaccination in Victoria and in the country, the virus will always be with us.”
Even when the rules are loosened, people will have to live within 25 kilometers (15 miles) of their homes, officials say.
There will also be a total ban on home meetings and masks will be mandatory at home and while schools, cafes and beauty salons may reopen, gyms and nightclubs must remain closed for at least another week.
Brett Sutton, Victoria’s health chief, said there could be no unrestricted “return” as the situation remains “reasonably volatile”.
“We will go through increments, of course, but with minimal restrictions we know we will continue to control this,” he said.
The new group of cases was born last month with more than 80 people having tested positive for both Kappa and Delta strains of the virus both of whom were born in India.
On Wednesday, Victoria reported only one new locally acquired COVID-19 case, the lowest in more than two weeks.
Daily cases remained in single digits on most block days.
Australia has performed effectively in COVID-19, and is one of the few countries in the world where transmission has not become endemic.
Victoria has endured four closures since the pandemic began, the longest more than 100 days late last year and more than 800 people have died in the state, 90 percent of the national population.
Outbreaks in Taiwan and Japan have highlighted how initial success in virus content can evaporate rapidly without widespread vaccination.
Australia had intensified its program last week and had managed about 5.2 million jabs since Monday. However, only a small portion of people are completely vaccinated.