Shane Warne slammed the harsh Australian lockdown, saying the country must “learn to live” with coronavirus like the UK.
The 52-year-old Australian cricketer, who is widely regarded as one of the best bowlers of all time, said his homeland has lagged behind the rest of the western world in transitioning to the “Covid normal”.
Australia has imposed brutal lockdown restrictions despite having relatively few cases.
Last week, the country finally opened its borders to fully vaccinated travelers, meaning residents can reunite with loved ones abroad for the first time since March 2020.
Warne, who lives in London, said Covid will be “long-term” and Australia will have to “learn to live with it” rather than shutting down the economy and taking away basic freedoms.
He told me Today Show: “Looking here in the UK, they are learning to live with it. They think it’s unrealistic to have zero covids.
“They have urged the whole country to get vaccinated. Last time I looked, it was double vaccination of about 80 or 85 percent of the population.
“All small businesses are allowed to open, people are allowed to travel, people are going to sporting events. It has become normal, you can go on the road without a mask.
“I look at Australia, are we trying to live with it or eradicate it?”
Britain began easing pandemic restrictions on July 19, with only 68 percent of the adult population double-jabbed.
Meanwhile, the Australian government says it has no intention of easing the lockdown until 80 percent of people over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated, which is expected on 4 November.
However, closed states Queensland and Western Australia say they want to ban interstate travel until 90 percent of residents double-pocket.
Melbourne, one of the hardest-hit cities, has spent a world record 242 days in lockdown, leaving behind the Argentine capital Buenos Aires on 23 September.
It has prompted protests across the country, with clashes in Melbourne and Sydney and large rallies in Brisbane and Perth.
Elsewhere the crackdown on freedoms has prevented families from saying goodbye to loved ones who, in one instance, prevented police from watching mourners watch funerals from their cars.
Bereaved families parked at Sydney’s Rookwood Cemetery tried their best to catch a glimpse of their loved ones’ funerals, but were turned down by police.
Under current rules in New South Wales, only ten people are allowed to attend funerals.
Devastated mourners told the Guardian that three families gathered at the cemetery, wearing masks and practicing social distancing from their cars to watch the funeral.
He said that suddenly about ten police vehicles knocked on the windows of his car and instructed him to leave.
Australia has had 1,357 deaths out of 115,800 Covid cases since the start of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, New Zealand on Monday abandoned its long-term strategy to eliminate the coronavirus amid the Delta outbreak.
‘Learn to live with it’
Instead Wellington will try to live with the virus and control its spread as its vaccination rate increases.
The country was one of only a few to bring cases down to zero last year and remained largely virus-free until an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant in mid-August.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “With this outbreak and Delta a return to zero is incredibly difficult.
“It’s a change in approach that we were always going to make over time. Our delta outbreak has accelerated this transition. Vaccines will support that.”
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