The Prime Minister has confirmed the details of the National Cabinet’s plans for bringing Australia out of lockdown.
There are three stages to the plan and the impacts of each stage will be reviewed every three weeks, with health experts advising the Government on whether it is safe to move forward onto the next stage.
The Prime Minister said: “[With] all of these steps, the key requirement as you move from one to the next is it’s subject to the health advice. We’ve always acted on the basis of the expert advice.
“I said the other day, it’s like the emu and the kangaroo, they go forward, not backwards. And that’s how this has to work. Premiers and chief ministers are very keen to ensure that you continue to move forward.”
Speaking about the plans, the PM said: “Today our focus is on the road back, with a clear plan and a clear framework that shows Australians the road ahead.
The next step beyond this will be to build the confidence and momentum that will see our economy get back up and running and get Australians back up on their feet and moving ahead with confidence.
Then we can reset our economy for growth in the years ahead.”
Outlining step one, the PM said it will “enable greater connection with friends and family”
Step one will allow:
- Restaurants, cafes and shopping re-opening with social distancing in place.
- Gatherings in public places of up to 10 people, and five guests in your own home.
- Recreational activities such as golf, lap swimming and boot camps, playgrounds.
- Local and regional recreational travel.
- An easing of restrictions for funerals with up to 30 attendees, outdoors, and 10 at weddings.
After three weeks these measures will be reviewed and if health experts agree we will move into step two.
Step two will allow:
- Larger size gatherings up to 20 people
- This will include opening for venues such as cinemas, beauty parlous and galleries
- More retail openings on sector based COVID safe plans
Morrison emphasised that moving into stage three will depend on the success of the two previous steps. The importance of downloading the COVIDSafe app, maintaining physical distancing of 1.5m, hand hygiene and creating COVIDSafe workplace were all emphasised by the PM and Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy during the announcement.
Only through safe practices will step three happen, and that would bring:
- Pubs, clubs, bars and nightclubs re-opening with COVIDSafe measures in place.
- Gathering sizes increased to 100
- Return to workplace
The PM said: ““But most workers, [by step three] will be back in the workplace. Interstate travel will likely resume. Pubs and clubs with some restrictions will be open. And also possibly gaming venues. Step three, and also step two, will get greater definition as we move through the success of step one.”
He added: “In this plan, we walk before we run. We know we need to be careful to preserve our gains, if we wish to reclaim the ground we lost, we cannot be too timid. There will be risks. There will be challenges. There will be outbreaks, there will be more cases, there will be set-backs. Not everything will go to plan.
“Outbreaks are not a reason to slow things down. Outbreaks are going to happen. All Premiers and chief ministers understand that. And so it’s how you respond to them.”
There is still a long road in front of us, but at least we know have some idea of the direction of that road and how long it can take to get down it. There is still a lot of responsibility being placed on people, businesses and work places to get this right, be COVIDSafe and that is what will work best for getting us re-opened.
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