Curfew Lifts in Australia’s Virus Hot-Spot as Infections Slow

Curfew Lifts in Australia’s Virus Hot-Spot as Infections Slow

  • As some restrictions ease, fines increase for breaking rules
  •  Australia targets ‘travel bubble’ with New Zealand by year end

A nightly curfew will be lifted in Melbourne as the pace of new coronavirus infections slows in Australia’s second-largest city.

While some curbs are being eased earlier than expected, fines will be hiked for people who continue to break the social restrictions that remain in place, Daniel Andrews, premier of the southern state of Victoria, said.

The changes in Melbourne came as New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, reported no new cases over the past 24 hours, its best day since June 10. The improvements have breathed life into hopes that Australia may be able to create a “travel bubble” with neighbor New Zealand before the end of the year.

The two countries imposed strict measures to reduce the spread of the virus and have had relatively more success in containing it than much of the rest of the world. Still, their economies have both fallen into recession, with the services and travel sectors severely hurt in both nations.