Nine things many Australians may miss about Covid lockdown

Nine things many Australians may miss about Covid lockdown
Nine things many Australians may miss about Covid lockdown

Lockdown was a gruelling slog we are all happy to see the end of and get back to the pub, shops, and mum's house, and fix those awful haircuts.

But as Melbourne finally emerges from its sixth lockdown and NSW approaches two weeks of freedom, there may be a few things we'll miss.

Everything being shut with all but essential workers confined to their homes wasn't without its advantages - even if they pale in comparison to leaving the 5km bubble.

So as Australians celebrate returning to work and school, reuniting with friends and family over a meal, and taking a weekend holiday, here's nine lockdown silver linings they may miss - if only for a few minutes.

Revellers stop to pose for a photo as a jubilant atmosphere washes over Melbourne as the city's lockdown finally ended

Revellers stop to pose for a photo as a jubilant atmosphere washes over Melbourne as the city's lockdown finally ended

Park almost anywhere at any time

Many local councils, including the City of Sydney, suspended most parking fees and restrictions during lockdown.

Rangers were still on patrol but only issued fines to cars in no-parking zones and other restricted areas, while leaving those in metered spots alone.

With so few commuting to the city during lockdown, there was plenty of space for the remaining essential workers to park without paying a fee.

Being able to easily park for free meant critical staff like nurses and tradies could avoid public transport where the risk of catching Covid was much higher.

Many local councils, including the City of Sydney, suspended most parking fees and restrictions during lockdown (file image)

Many local councils, including the City of Sydney, suspended most parking fees and restrictions during lockdown (file image) 

The relaxed policy also meant many Sydney and Melbourne residents could conveniently park at the shops and near parks for free.

Parking inspectors were immediately out in force across Sydney the day lockdown ended on October 11 issuing fines once again.

No traffic jams

Locals in both cities were confined to 5km bubbles and banned from going out for all but the most essential reasons, so traffic plummeted.

Essential staff still commuting to work got an easy drive through roads usually choked with peak hour traffic, and the supermarket run was was faster than ever.

Traffic volume in Sydney was cut in half from pre-pandemic levels, and was 20 per cent lower than during the first shutdown in March to May 2020.

Transport for NSW daily road traffic movements in Sydney fell 43 per cent compared to the same time in 2019.

Melbourne had a similar story, where requests for driving directions dived 63 per cent and some suburbs had up to 34 per cent less traffic than 2020's lockdowns.

With lockdown over the roads will be more choked with cars than ever (as sen after lockdown in Sydney ended last year) as most people are not yet ready to use public transport again

With lockdown over the roads will be more choked with cars than ever (as sen after lockdown in Sydney ended last year) as most people are not yet ready to use public transport again

However, with lockdown over the roads will be more choked with cars than ever as most people are not yet ready to use public transport again.

Melbourne traffic spiked in May between its fourth and fifth lockdowns with outer suburbs the hardest hit - some up to 74 per cent about pre-pandemic levels.

Sydney's road congestion was about 15 per cent worse overall in March to June, spiking to 30.8 per cent higher on June 5.

Public transport usage is creeping up since lockdown ended, but experts predict it will be 10 to 20 per cent down for the foreseeable future as passengers fear catching Covid even with 90 per cent vaccinated - making traffic even worse.

Working from home

Millions of Australians have worked from home for most or all of the pandemic, but nearly everyone was banished from workplaces during lockdown.

Many immediately saw the appeal of a commute of less than a minute with no dress code and no boss looking over your shoulder.

Fewer distractions made some employees happier and more productive, along with a familiar and comfortable environment.

Workers with longer commutes were the biggest winners, getting up to 15 hours a week of their life back to do more enjoyable things than sitting in traffic or trains.

After months of lockdown, some workers are tired of the inefficient communication and lack of social interaction, but many are still in love with it.

A survey at the height of

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