Wed, 08 Dec 2021

Canberra [Australia], October 19 (ANI/Xinhua): Coronavirus restrictions in the Australian capital will be eased further after it reached a major vaccine milestone.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) became the country's first jurisdiction to hit 80 percent double-dose vaccination coverage among those aged above 12.

As a result, non-essential retail in Canberra will be allowed to open for the first time since Aug. 12 on Friday in a major boost for the ACT's economy.

"Reaching the 80-percent milestone is a significant achievement," ACT government said in a media release on Tuesday.

"Canberrans should be really proud of how our community has worked together and given us the best opportunity to manage the expected increase in cases as the nation starts to reopen.""We are now well on our way to having close to 99 percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated by the end of November."Under further changes to the ACT's reopening roadmap, hospitality venues will be allowed to have up to 300 patrons from Oct. 29 and face masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors.Quarantine-free travel between the ACT and New South Wales (NSW) will resume from Nov. 1.

"This means that ACT residents will not have quarantine when they return to the territory from any part of NSW, including Greater Sydney," ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said.

On Tuesday morning, 2,046 new cases and 15 deaths were reported in Australia as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections.

So far, about 84.8 percent of Australians aged 16 and over had received one coronavirus vaccine dose and 68.3 percent were fully inoculated, according to the latest data released by the Department of Health. (ANI/Xinhua)

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