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MELBOURNE, Australia—After more than 100 days under one of the lengthiest and most stringent lockdowns in the world, residents of Australia’s second-largest city are getting a hard-earned reprieve—but the terms highlight the deep global divide over the need for lockdowns to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since July 9, residents of Melbourne have been forbidden to leave their homes except briefly for a handful of reasons, including exercise and shopping for food within a three-mile radius. Offices and retail outlets were mostly...

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