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Countries adopting 'Living with COVID-19' strategies as UK faces resurgence Updated: 2021-10-26 17:05:40 KST

The world is slowly approaching two years since the pandemic began and finally, countries boasting a high vaccination rate are shifting to "Living with COVID-19".
Among the most recent is the Australian state of New South Wales having already lifted its lockdown for the fully vaccinated two weeks ago.
Certain restrictions still remain, but pubs, restaurants and cafes have reopened and headcounts have been eased.
Following in its footsteps is Victoria, which plans to get rid of in-state travel restrictions and no longer require masks outside from Friday before further easing curbs later in November.

"I think people are very tired. Melbourne has been in lockdown longer than any other city in the world. 263 days since March 2020. And I have seen myself and everyone has that people are not complying with the restrictions as well as they were this time last year. So I think the government had no choice but to give people a break. Give them a few more freedoms."

The UK, meanwhile, dropped almost all of its COVID-19 restrictions back in July.
Now faced with a fresh surge in infections, though, its strategy has come under threat as several health experts call for the return of virus curbs.

"We do need to have people using lateral flow tests, avoiding contact with large numbers of people in closed spaces, using masks, all of those things now need to happen if we are going to stop this rise and get things under control soon enough to stop a real meltdown in the middle of the winter."

Despite frustrated foreign businesses, the financial hub of Hong Kong is still sticking with their "Zero-COVID" policy keeping new cases at a minimum through strict quarantine rules.

"Our elderly, people over the age of 80, only 16, one sixth percent of them have been vaccinated. It's very low actually. Probably one of the lowest in the world and so that is a problem that we'd have to solve before relaxing the COVID-19 measures. Otherwise, we know that COVID-19 poses a major risk to older people."

Though nations may differ on how to return to normal, experts in general agree that vaccination is a crucial element in the gradual shift to "Living with COVID-19" naming Portugal and Denmark, each with around 85 and 75 percent of its population fully inoculated, as exemplary cases.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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