The Sydney Opera House has reopened. Almost 40,000 spectators attended the city’s rugby league grand finale. Workers are being urged to return to their offices.
Welcome to Australia, a pandemic success story.
Sharon Lewin, the director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, which provided forecasts in February that formed the basis of the Australian government’s response, said, “I never thought we would really get to zero, which is amazing. I’ve been going out nonstop, booking restaurants, shopping, getting my nails done and my hair cut.”
Several reasons contributed to Australia’s success. The country chose to quickly and tightly seal its borders, a step some others did not take.
Health officials rapidly built up the manpower to track down and isolate outbreaks. And every one of Australia’s states either shut their domestic borders or severely limited movement for interstate, and in some cases intrastate, travelers.