Sydney lockdown ends after more than 100 days

Sydney businesses reopened Monday after more than 100 days of lockdown measures.

The big picture: Some bars and entertainment venues in the city of 5 million residents opened at 12:01 a.m., as most restrictions were relaxed for fully vaccinated people in the New South Wales state capital amid declining coronavirus cases.

This came after NSW reached its goal of vaccinating 70% of eligible residents.

What they’re saying: “We are leading the nation out of this pandemic but this will be a challenge,” said NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, who replaced Gladys Berejiklian, who resigned earlier this month amid a corruption investigation, at a news conference Monday.

He expected hospitalizations and case numbers to increase, but added: “We need to learn to live alongside the virus.”

Yes, but: Stay-at-home rules and other restrictions that were imposed on Sydney residents in response to a June Delta outbreak remain in place until Dec. 1 for those unvaccinated.

By the numbers: NSW recorded 496 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as the number of people over 16 years old vaccinated in the state exceeded 74%, according to official health figures.

The state aims to have 80% of eligible residents vaccinated by late October.

What to watch: The Australian Medical Association expressed concern at the NSW reopening plans, warning in a statement that “New South Wales may still see hospitals become completely overwhelmed despite high vaccination rates.”

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