Restaurants reopen in Sydney after lockdown

Restaurants and cafes in Sydney, Australia, have welcomed back customers who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus after three-and-a-half months of severe restrictions.

Outings and economic activities had been restricted in Sydney since late June due to the spread of the Delta variant.

Officials have eased lockdown measures from Monday, as the vaccination rate has topped 70 percent in the state of New South Wales, including Sydney.

A cafe in northern Sydney reopened, with the number of customers capped at 50 percent of the usual level.

People enjoyed food and drinks after showing their digital vaccine certificates to the staff.

A woman said she is happy, and she will keep following the rules, including social distancing and wearing masks.

The cafe owner said no further lockdowns will be necessary if more people get vaccinated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, "Today is a day so many have been looking forward to." He called on people to keep going with the vaccination program so that the country will be able to come out of quarantine.

The Australian government plans to gradually relax restrictions on people entering and leaving the country from next month if more Australians get vaccinated.