Australia's COVID-19 hotspot partially eases lockdown

Those living through one of the world's longest lockdowns were granted more freedom to move about on Monday (October 19).

Australia's city of Melbourne lies in the state of Victoria, the epicenter of the country's coronavirus outbreak.

Melbourne's more than 5 million people have been living under a strict lockdown for more than 100 days.

Now residents will finally be able to spend as much time outdoors as they wish, rather than just two hours allowed up until Monday for outdoor exercise.

Victoria's government is considering more restrictions roll backs in November.

But for now, public gatherings will remain tightly limited, and retailers and restaurants will still be restricted to take-away or delivery only orders.

People must also stay within 25 kilometers of their homes,

Premier Daniel Andrews delivered the news on Sunday.

"I know and understand that not everything everybody wanted is in the announcement I have made today. I just make this point, I have announced today what is safe. "

The lingering rules have angered some business owners, including a group representing over 2000 commercial entities in Melbourne who have called the remaining restrictions quote "an unjust joke."

Victoria is Australia's second-most populous state and according to official data it accounts for a quarter of Australia's economic output.

However, because of the prolonged lockdown, it makes up now 40% of Australia's effectively unemployed.