Strict coronavirus lockdown eased in Australia's hardest-hit state

2020-10-18 11:35:32 GMT2020-10-18 19:35:32(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

CANBERRA, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Australian state of Victoria kept coronavirus case numbers at a low level on Sunday when strict restrictions eased in the state's capital city Melbourne.

As of Sunday afternoon there had been 27,390 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in last 24 hours is 11, according to the latest figures from Australian Government Department of Health.

Victoria, the hardest-hit state by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, confirmed two new cases.

New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, reported five new cases, four of which were recently returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

With Victoria’s second wave of infections, which has caused more than 700 deaths in the state since July, subsiding, Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced the easing of strict restrictions in Melbourne, Australia’s second biggest city.

From Monday the five kilometer travel radius imposed on Melburnians will be extended to 25 kilometers, a two hour time limit for exercising will be scrapped and groups of 10 people will be allowed to gather outdoors.

Outdoor sports such as golf and tennis will be allowed and hairdressers will open with strict safety protocols.

It almost marks an end to more than 100 days of one of the country’s strictest coronavirus lockdowns for Melbourne’s five million residents.

"Additional changes to retail, hospitality and personal services will be made from 1 November, in line with the advice of our public health team," said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria on Sunday. Enditem