Snap lockdowns curb virus in Melbourne, Auckland

Victoria was plunged into hard lockdown from midnight on Friday after a fresh outbreak

Victoria was plunged into hard lockdown from midnight on Friday after a fresh outbreak

Andrews has conceded such "hyper-infectious" variants are hard to contain and examined tightening quarantine restrictions in Australia's second most populous state.

Victoria will emerge from its snap lockdown at midnight Wednesday, Premier Daniel Andrews said, alleviating fears of ongoing stay-at-home orders linked to the state's recent coronavirus outbreak.

The state of Victoria recently saw a cluster of 19 cases emerge after a person working at a Melbourne hotel housing quarantined cases unknowingly caught the United Kingdom variant of the virus and carried it into the community.

Andrews's decision allows around six million residents to leave their homes, businesses to reopen and some spectators to return for the final days of the Australian Open tennis tournament.

Authorities said swift action in Melbourne and Auckland helped contain flare-ups of the highly contagious United Kingdom coronavirus variant, contrasting with the less rigorous approach taken in Europe and other infection hotspots.

Both the Auckland and Melbourne outbreaks involved the more transmissible virus strain first detected in Britain.

The latest five-day restrictions appear to have limited the cluster's growth to just six new cases since the lockdown began.

"We look forward to welcoming fans back to the Australian Open for the next four days and to finishing the event safely and on a high", tournament director Craig Tiley said in the statement.

Charge in Central Park birdwatcher incident dropped
The Critical Therapy Center provided classes to Cooper that "focused on the ways in which Ms. The exchange elevated and Christian Cooper tried to lure the woman's dog with a treat.

"They will be on a case-by-case basis and it is not a simple process we go through quite an exhaustive process to make sure that those events are viable and can happen but are safe", he said.

"They were already reduced, they may have to be reduced a little bit further, but that matter will be resolved in the next few hours".

The tournament had started three weeks late to allow global players to quarantine.

For the last five days, matches have been held without fans present.

The latest outbreak has sparked renewed debate about Australia's system of quarantining returned travellers in city hotels.

Victoria is now considering a purpose-built quarantine facility.

Australia has been relatively successful in containing the spread of Covid-19, recording just under 29,000 cases and 909 deaths in a population of 25 million.

Many regions have been enjoying relaxed restrictions for months, with large crowds returning to sporting events at stadiums across the country.

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