Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared that the National Cabinet has agreed to a new four step plan to lead Australia out of its ongoing Covid restrictions.
The plan, which will be finalised in “the coming weeks”, aims to end the need for lockdowns, give vaccinated Australians more freedoms to move about the country and open up international borders again.
A much needed vaccination threshold would underwrite the ability to move through the different phases, something the federal government has been so far unwilling to outline.
While we are currently in phase one, commercial international arrival caps would be temporarily reduced by 50 per cent.
The next phase would see fewer border restrictions for vaccinated Australians and lockdowns would only occur “in extreme circumstances”. But Morrison said the vaccination threshold to move to that next stage has not been set yet.
In the third phase, Covid-19 would be regraded in the same way as “the flu”, ending lockdowns, removing all domestic restrictions and removing caps on returning travellers.
“Lifting all restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated persons and extending the travel bubble for unrestricted travel to new countries such as Singapore, the Pacific and potentially other candidates by the time we reach that stage,” Morrison said.
The need for Morrison to outline some sort of plan comes as the states and territories ramp up their bickering over who is to blame for the latest series of Covid cases which has sparked lockdowns across the country.
The lack of cohesion has not been helped by some terrible mixed messaging over the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is now available to anyone who wants it.
In the meantime, Australia’s Covid19 vaccination rate fell another two places to 3rd last on the Federal Department of Health’s own international benchmark in June.
Since April, Australia has been overtaken Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the European Union, South Korean and Japan. Currently only New Zealand and Canada are behind Australia at the same point in their vaccination rollouts, the latter of which is predicted to take over Australia within weeks.