Sorry about all that police brutality, m80s – it was for your own good!
No hard feelings!
Now go ahead and enjoy a small slice of the freedom you once had before the government took it all away in 2020 – you deserve every bit of it!
People in Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, ignored grey skies and drizzle on Monday to celebrate the end of almost four months of lockdown as fully vaccinated people were allowed once again to get their hair cut and go to cafes, restaurants and shops.
The city’s more than five million residents spent 106 days in lockdown as the authorities tried to curb the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID.
With new infections now falling – New South Wales state recorded 496 cases on Monday – and more than 70 percent of people over the age of 16 fully vaccinated, the city is now reopening.
Cafes and restaurants threw open their doors to anyone who could prove they were vaccinated, including Peter Morgan, who was among those relishing newly regained freedoms.
Since June, shops, schools, salons and offices have been closed for non-essential workers and there have been unprecedented restrictions on Australians personal freedom with people banned from travelling more than five kilometres (three miles) from home or visiting family.
“I see it as a day of freedom, it’s a freedom day,” New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters.
For most of the pandemic, Australia successfully suppressed infections through border closures, lockdowns and aggressive testing and tracing.
But the Delta variant put paid to its goal of “COVID-zero”, and Sydney and Melbourne are now shifting their approach towards one of “living with COVID”.
“It’s a big day for our state,” Perrotet said.
After “100 days of blood, sweat and no beers,” he said, “you’ve earned it.”
Some restrictions will remain in force, including limits on mass gatherings and international border closures.
Preventing an entire population from leaving the country is a minor issue anyway.
International travel always was something of a 20th century novelty.
Reopening the cafes and restaurants, though… that’s some hardcore freedom-giving right there.
The Australian government truly knows what is best for its babies.