The world's most locked-down city set to open up

Australian officials on Sunday said restrictions in Melbourne were set to lift this week.

Melbourne is the world's most locked down city clocking nearly 9 months under hard stay-at-home orders for the city's 5 million people.

But while coronavirus cases keep rising in Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, double vaccination rate for the population is set to reach 70% this week, allowing for the ease in restrictions.

Premier Dan Andrews delivered the good news on Sunday:

"Today is a day where Victorians can be very proud of what they have achieved. But just as we have vaccinated in record numbers and in record time, all of us know that this is not over yet. There's still a little way to go and we have just got to see this thing through, push on, push through, get vaccinated."

While hospitality venues will reopen on Friday, their capacity will be heavily restricted.

But other retailers will have to wait until 80% of Victorians are fully vaccinated, hopefully by end of October.

Australia, once a champion of COVID-zero strategy in managing the pandemic, has been moving towards living with the virus through extensive vaccinations, as the Delta variant has proven too difficult to curb.

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