Many cafes and restaurants have opened again in Sydney as some coronavirus restrictions were lifted, although rainy weather and ongoing fears appeared to keep visitors relatively low.
Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales began allowing cafes, restaurants and places of worship to reopen with up to 10 people on the condition they adhere to social distancing rules.
Pubs and clubs were also permitted to open, but only for dining.
State premier Gladys Berejiklian warned people to take personal responsibility, saying that easing restrictions in some other countries had backfired.
“Let’s please do our part in keeping everybody safe so that all of us can keep moving forward so that we never, ever go backwards,” she said. “That’s really, really critical.”
Many Catholic churches across the state opened for private prayer, confession and small-scale masses.
“The celebration of mass is the highest form of Catholic worship and to not be able to physically gather these past two months has been very difficult for Catholics,” said Sydney’s Archbishop Anthony Fisher.
Many Jewish synagogues and other Christian churches decided to keep their doors closed.
New South Wales reported eight new cases of the virus on Friday, bringing the state total to a little over 3,000. Australia has reported a total of about 7,000 cases and 98 deaths linked to coronavirus.