Sydney Lockdown Finally Ends After 106 Days
Not long after controversial New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian stepped down amid a corruption scandal, Sydney residents are breathing a sigh of relief early Monday (local time) as a nearly four-month-long lockdown afflicting Australia’s most populous city has finally been lifted, AFP reports.
For the last 106 days, Sydney’s 5 million residents have been living under lockdown conditions, intended to suppress the hyper-infectious (allegedly) delta variant. The measures became an international joke as cases continued to soar (and are at an all time high currently), and the government mostly stood by their policy directives, despite the fact that Australia has recorded an enviably low number of hospitalizations and deaths.
But after a successful vaccination campaign, the government no longer sees a need for the lockdown conditions. New South Wales, the state where Sydney serves as the capitol, recorded just 477 cases on Sunday, while more than 70% of the population over the age of 16 gas been fully vaccinated. While cases numbers may remain elevated in other parts of Australia, Sydney has seen a distinct downward trend in daily cases.
Restaurant owners and bars were elated at the news. Some even planned to open at 1201 local time to serve vaccinated customers after months of struggling with little to no business. Locals appeared ready to celebrate now that the chaos, punctuated by increasingly violent protests, and an influx of soldiers sent to help ensure compliance, has ended.
“It’s a big day for our state,” said New South Wales’ recently appointed conservative premier Dominic Perrottet.
After “100 days of blood, sweat and no beers,” he said, “you’ve earned it.”
Since June, most shops, schools, salons and offices have been closed for any non-essential workers or purpose. Many critics slammed the restrictions and protests pushed back aggressively against what many described as the greatest infringement on Australians’ personal liberty.
Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, Has Been Diagnosed with Terminal Cancer
This follows his transfer to a medical facility in December
The new comes from a letter he wrote:
French President Emmanuel Macron Says Someone Who Refuses COVID Vaccine Is ‘Not a Citizen’
French president Macron’s desire to ‘piss off’ unvaccinated individuals triggers outrage
French President Emmanuel Macron faced significant criticism for his comments claiming that he would like to “piss off” unvaccinated individuals.
Macron spoke candidly during an interview with French newspaper Le Parisien, during which he said that he wanted to make life difficult for individuals who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine. The French “sanitary pass” has prompted a number of protests and stiff opposition while the country nears 75% full vaccination.
“I really want to piss them off, and we’ll carry on doing this – to the end,” Macron said three months ahead of a presidential election. “I won’t send [unvaccinated people] to prison, so we need to tell them, from 15 January, you will no longer be able to go to the restaurant. You will no longer be able to go for a coffee, you will no longer be able to go to the theatre. You will no longer be able to go to the cinema.”
The French Parliament heard Macron’s comments during a debate over his proposed bill to tighten restrictions for unvaccinated individuals, leading to a swift and strong uproar in response.
His opponents have labeled the comments “unworthy” of a president.
“Even if one doesn’t share their choice, they have broken none of our country’s laws,” Marine Le Pen, Macron’s chief opponent in the upcoming election, told reporters late Tuesday. “He is continuing his policy of division, of pitting the French against one another.”
She later tweeted “A president shouldn’t say that…Emmanuel Macron is unworthy of his office.”
Leftist politician Jean-Luc Melanchon described the remarks as an “astonishing confession,” according to the BBC.
But Macron’s allies have defended the comments, with Stéphane Séjourné, a member of the European Parliament, arguing on Twitter that unvaccinated individuals have “bothered” the French by “forcing the rest of the population to endure restrictions.”
Debate over Macron’s bill continue into Wednesday as opponents still seek to delay its passage. Some of his supporters claimed to have received death threats because they are backing the legislation, The New York Times reported.
Boston Mayor Wu Relentlessly Heckled As New COVID-19 Restrictions Are Announced
Boston unveils the ‘Be Together’ initiative, requiring full vaccination for entry to restaurants, gyms, and sports arenas for anyone 12 and older. In March the mandate will phase-in for younger children.