A rally against containment, decreed since the end of July to fight the Covid-19 epidemic, escalated on Saturday, September 18, in Melbourne, Australia. More than 200 protesters have been arrested and police injured in the state capital of Victoria during violent clashes.
Hundreds of people had violated the stay-at-home obligation to protest in the country’s second most populous city. Melbourne is experiencing its sixth lockdown since the start of the pandemic and Victoria recorded more than 500 cases of Covid-19 on Saturday.
Police tried to prevent protesters from entering the city center, blocking roads and stopping public transport, in order to avoid a repetition of the scenes of violence that marked the previous rally in August, in which had taken part thousands of people. The demonstrators therefore found themselves elsewhere
Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has recorded one of the lowest SARS-CoV-2 contamination rates in the world thanks to its zero Covid strategy, consisting of strict border closures, tracing of contact cases and ‘intense screening campaigns.
The epidemic resurgence due to the Delta variant in mid-June in Sydney led to a change in strategy and greater support among the population for vaccination against Covid-19. The authorities are now targeting a vaccination rate of 70% to be able to relax the measures.