Scott Morrison has unveiled a four-stage plan to get Australia through the pandemic, describing it as a ‘pathway out of Covid’.
The Prime Minister has outlined a four-stage plan to get Australia through the Covid crisis, which this week led to lockdowns around the nation as the highly infectious Delta strain seeped into the community.
The four stages are:
- PHASE 1 – “Vaccinate, prepare, and pilot.” Continue to suppress the virus and offer every Australian an opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Slash international arrivals by half, funnel them to the Howard Springs facility in Darwin. Trial the introduction of alternative quarantine options, including home quarantine for returning vaccinated travelers.
- PHASE 2 – Once Australia reaches a vaccination threshold to be determined by a “scientific number”, changes may include easing restrictions for vaccinated residents such as border controls, restoring arrival caps for unvaccinated returning travelers, and lifting to “even larger caps for those who are vaccinated”. Lockdowns are to be only used as a last resort.
- PHASE 3 – The consolidation phase to manage Covid like other infectious diseases. “The hospitalization and fatality rates that you would see from Covid-19 would be like the flu,” Mr. Morrison said. Changes may include exempting vaccinated residents from all domestic restrictions, abolishing caps on returning vaccinated travelers. Lifting all restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated people.
- PHASE 4 – “Complete back to normal, where you have measures that may include allowing uncapped inbound arrivals for all vaccinated persons without quarantine and allowing uncapped arrivals of non-vaccinated travel subject to pre-flight and on arrival testing.”
Addressing media after the second national cabinet meeting this week – this time in person after he emerged from a fortnight of quarantine following a trip to the UK – Scott Morrison noted there was “still quite a journey ahead” with the pandemic.
He described the four-stage plan as “the pathway out of Covid-19”.
“A pathway from a pre-vaccination period which is focused on the suppression of the virus on community transmission cases to one that sees us manage Covid-19 as an infectious disease like any other in our community,” Mr Morrison told reporters.