Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced Australia’s tough coronavirus restrictions will be eased in three stages, with the goal of reopening most of the economy by July.
“[Today], we move ahead with reopening our economy – and our society – with a clear plan, and a clear framework, that shows Australians the road ahead,” he said in a press conference on Friday. “We’ve got to get out from under the doona.”
Each state and territory will set its own timeline for moving through each step.
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“In this plan, we walk before we run. States will and must move at their own pace, and will cut and paste out of this plan to suit their local circumstances,” he said.
“It is our goal to move through all of these steps to achieve that Covid-safe economy in July of this year,” Morrison said.
Step one allows five visitors at your home; gatherings of 10 people outdoors; and some retail stores, cafes and restaurants to open under social-distancing guidelines. Libraries, community centres and playgrounds may also be reopened, and local and regional travel resumed.
In step two, gatherings of 20 will be allowed at home; gyms, beauty salons, cinemas, galleries and camping grounds may reopen; and some interstate travel will start.
The final step will allow gatherings of up to 100 people, the return to most workplaces, all interstate travel and potentially travel to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
“We’ll be reviewing progress of our plan every three weeks. And making any changes as we need to,” Morrison said.
“On the issue of premiers, they’ll be announcing their own timetables for when they’re making those statements … I think you can expect to see some of them later today, making some initial comments, and I’d expect to see them making further comments in the days ahead, on the weekend and early next week.
“When you look at the three steps, there are some states like Western Australia where step one has ticked the box. They’re very much well advanced on that. South Australia, Northern Territory, quite similarly. But [for] those on the east coast, [it’s] a very different situation. They’ve all got different starting points. The whole country has the same end point: to get to a Covid-safe economy.”