Freedom Day: Sydney Reacts to Removal of COVID Restrictions That Lasted 106 Days
Cafes, bars, saloons, and gyms flung open their doors as people lined up for beer, haircuts, and shopping.
On Monday, 11 October, Sydney woke up to a day its residents had been longing for since July – freedom day.
As New South Wales (NSW) state achieved its vaccine target of fully inoculating more than 70% of its population, Sydney's lockdown finally came to an end after 106 days.
Addressing a press conference, NSW State Premier Dominic Perrottet said that the people have earned this freedom, The Australian reported.
Restaurants, cafes, bars, saloons, and gyms, among other venues, flung open their doors as people lined up for beer, haircuts, and shopping.
Videos showed massive checkout queues at a mall in Penrith, a city in located in Greater Western Sydney.
Other videos showed the famous hairdresser Alan Buki opening his shop at 12.01 am as customers waited outside.
Another hairdresser Moustafa Elrifai told The Guardian that when he opened his eyes on Monday, he started to cry.
"I hadn’t opened the shop in months, I’ve had to pay my bills and everything. It was tough. But today, I’m very happy, the reopening is very good.”
The Twitter handle of the professional basketball team Sydney Kings had announced 'Freedom Day' sales, which got extended due to the enthusiastic response.
Tony Kwok, who runs a tea store in Sydney central business district, said that the end of the lockdown would once again renew “the beauty of being human” and the ability to "connect with people again”.
“And tea is at the centre of that”, he told The Guardian.
Premier Perrottet warned that the number of cases and hospitalisations is likely to increase as a consequence of freedom, but the removal of restrictions was necessary for everybody's financial security and mental health.
“There will be challenges that come our way. But we have to open up. And we have to get people back into work.”
Time will tell whether Sydney and New South Wales state would ever require restrictions again, but as of now, Sydney has already started partying.
(With inputs from The Australian and The Guardian.)
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