While Australia has largely contained the virus, Victoria state's Melbourne remains the country's worst affected city, enduring more than 100 days of lockdown late a year ago to curb an outbreak that killed about 800.
On Wednesday morning, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the Stage 4 restrictions - which prevent residents from leaving their homes for any reason other than work, shopping for groceries, giving or receiving medical care and exercise - would be lifted.
In New Zealand, nearly two million Aucklanders will enjoy similar freedoms after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a three-day lockdown had quelled the city's most serious outbreak in nearly six months.
Then last Friday, the State Government announced a five-day statewide lockdown would apply from midnight in response to the spread of the United Kingdom variant of COVID-19. The virus has been effectively eliminated in other states and territories. "We'll finish up with people being able to move freely because this short and sharp circuit-breaker has worked".
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Victoria State Premier Dan Andrews announced the lifting of the lockdown but said the crowds allowed into Melbourne Park for the semi-finals and finals of the Grand Slam might be reduced from the originally agreed 25,000 a day.
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"From 11:59pm [Wednesday local time], the restrictions will be dropped [but] masks will be required indoors and outdoors when you can't socially distance".
Prior to the outbreak, Victoria - Australia's second most populous state - had not seen a local infection for 28 days.
The state had already endured two previous lockdowns - including a four-month shutdown of its state capital Melbourne - due to failures in the hotel quarantine scheme.
Andrews said further announcements on events would be made later Wednesday.
And, Victoria is looking to introduce a new model of quarantine as an alternative to the hotel system in Melbourne's CBD.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the lockdown would end as planned at midnight, even though three more locally transmitted cases have since been discovered.
"We wanted to make sure we took a cautious approach because that's much, much better than getting it wrong and having a large scale outbreak and a long lockdown", she explained. Victorians will only be allowed 5 visitors to the home per day and public gatherings will be limited to 20 people.