Remember dancing? Or singing loudly indoors with a group of friends?
In Australia, which has largely contained its coronavirus outbreak, the continued relaxation of restrictions in some places is offering a potential glimpse into our post-pandemic lives.
First, there were Broadway shows in the most populous city, Sydney, and spectators at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Now, in two regions beginning Friday, Australians can, for the most part, drink, dance and sing together at weddings and other indoor venues. The easing of regulations comes as Australia begins its nationwide vaccine rollout.
In South Australia, dancing and drinking will be allowed in venues that cater to fewer than 200 people, Australia’s ABC News reported. In venues with between 200 and 1,000 people, dancing will be permitted on a designated dance floor.
In New South Wales, where Sydney is located, a maximum of 30 people will be allowed to dance at weddings, and just as many will able to sing together indoors, Reuters reported.
“With the rollout of the vaccine now underway and no new locally acquired cases in [New South Wales], we are able to make further changes towards a new covid normal,” Reuters quoted the state’s premier, Gladys Berejiklian, as saying.
Australia has implemented some of the world’s strictest coronavirus measures, including mandatory travel quarantines and snap lockdowns, even limiting the number of Australian citizens allowed to return home from abroad.
As a result, authorities there have recorded just under 29,000 cases and fewer than 1,000 deaths — out of a population of 25 million.