Prime Minister Scott Morrison has trickled out a few more important details about how he plans to reopen Australia both domestically and internationally.
Following a meeting on Friday, the National Cabinet has agreed in principle to an updated four-step plan to transition Australia’s COVID-19 response, taking into account modelling by the Doherty Institute and economic analysis by the Treasury.
The updates agreed in principle by the National Cabinet are the vaccination thresholds for moving from ‘Phase A’ (the current phase) to ‘Phase B’ and ‘Phase C’.
In order for Australia to move to Phase B, approximately 70 per cent of the adult population will need to be fully vaccinated.
“In this phase, Australia will seek to minimise serious illness, hospitalisations and fatalities as a result of COVID-19 with low-level restrictions,” the PM said in a media statement.
“Measures may include maintaining high vaccination rates, encouraging uptake through incentives and other measures, minimising cases in the community through ongoing low-level restrictions and effective track and trace, and with lockdowns unlikely but possible and targeted.”
Australia will only be able to move to the third phase once the nationwide vaccination rate cracks 80 per cent.
“In Phase C, Australia will seek to minimise serious illness, hospitalisations and fatalities as a result of COVID-19 with baseline restrictions,” ScoMo said.
“Measures may include maximising vaccination coverage, minimum ongoing baseline restrictions adjusted to minimise cases without lockdowns, and highly targeted lockdowns only.”
The PM said the National Cabinet will commission further detailed modelling over the coming months to update and refine the four-phase plan as required.
A sub-group of the National Cabinet consisting of Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory will also prepare options on how restrictions can be eased for vaccinated Aussies in Phase B.
The National Cabinet update came not long before South East Queensland entered a snap lockdown on Saturday afternoon due to a growing COVID-19 outbreak in the region.
Initially, the lockdown was set to only last until Tuesday. However, the Queensland government announced this morning that it will be extended until 4pm (AEST) on Sunday 8 August off the back of 13 new locally acquired cases of COVID being recorded.
Featured image source: ABC News