Melbourne extends lockdown as Sydney touts vaccine freedom

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has extended its lockdown in a bid to stamp out an outbreak of COVID-19, while authorities in Sydney say they are considering easing restrictions for vaccinated residents despite the delta variant continuing to spread. Australian cities have used lockdowns to successfully end coronavirus outbreaks throughout the pandemic. But the highly contagious delta variant poses new challenges. Melbourne’s lockdown will be extended for a second week until the end of Aug. 19, the Victoria state government said Wednesday as it reported 20 new infections. The New South Wales state government reported 344 new infections and said some lockdown restrictions could be eased for vaccinated Sydney residents from September.

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