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Australian state easing pandemic restrictions

Australian state easing pandemic restrictions
© Getty

The Australian state of Victoria will lift some of its coronavirus pandemic restrictions after a surge in cases led to a renewed clampdown.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said that restrictions will end for Victoria residents outside Melbourne, the state capital. Businesses will also be allowed to reopen, he added, according to The Associated Press.

Residents of Melbourne, the country’s second-biggest city, must get approval to leave the city, and police are set to ramp up security at checkpoints as the rest of the state reopens.

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Victoria officials declared a state of disaster in early August, with tighter restrictions on Melbourne residents. Residents of the city are only allowed to shop for essential goods within three miles of their homes during the day, ahead of an 8 p.m. curfew.

While Australia was hailed for its initial handling of the coronavirus pandemic, it saw what was at the time its deadliest single day in July after 10 people died in Victoria.

“That is a significant challenge, given, whilst we have overall capacity and we’ve worked very hard all throughout the year to grow the number of people that can be available for our fight against this virus in a clinical sense, whenever we have clinical staff and other critical health workers away, furloughed because they are a close contact or in fact as an active case, that does put some additional pressure on our system,” Andrews said at the time.

As of Tuesday, Australia has seen nearly 27,000 deaths from the virus and 816 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.