8 May 2020 / COVID-19

COVISafe Australia Roadmap

The Prime Minister just spoke to the media following today’s National Cabinet Meeting:

  • Every job matters no matter what you do – every job is essential
  • We’ve been fighting the virus and we’re winning
  • The Gov’t has put place and delivering the economic lifeline to get us through this and buy time
  • Thirdly, particularly today, moving ahead with reopening our economy with a clear plan, a clear framework
  • The next step beyond this is the plan to grow momentum to get the economy back up and running with confidence and plan for growth in the years ahead
  • Today National Cabinet agreed to a 3 step plan to be adopted as part of a national framework to achieve a COVID safe economy and society
  • Plan to move through all of these steps in July
  • We must walk before we run
  • We need be careful to preserve our gains
  • There will be risks, more cases and setbacks – not everything will go to plan
  • There will be inconsistencies – states / territories must move at their own pace and will cut and paste out of this plan to suit their circumstances
  • No one is perfect – everyone is doing their best and we cannot expect otherwise
  • We cannot allow our fear of going backwards stop us going forward
  • plan will get us back where we need to be as quickly as we can
  • Treasury is forecasting 850,000 jobs will be restored in months ahead
  • The Roadmap to a COVIDSafe Australia:
  1. Step 1
    1. greater connections with friends and family
    2. gatherings of 10 people in businesses and public places
    3. 5 people at home
    4. working from home if it works for you and your employer
    5. kids back at schools
    6. local playgrounds and outdoor boot camps (with social distancing and in max group of 10)
    7. retail and small cafes / restaurants reopening (with social distancing)
    8. interstate recreational travel
    9. 30 people allowed at outdoor funerals
    10. 10 people at weddings
  2. Step 2
    1. Gatherings of up to 20 people
    2. Reopening of cinemas, galleries, more retail, organised community support, beauty parlours
    3. Subject to change as things evolve from Step 1 / expert medical advice
  3. Step 3
    1. gatherings of up to 100 people
    2. clearer after first 2 steps
    3. more work to do on this step after 1 and 2 better known
    4. hoping most workers will be back in the workplace
    5. interstate travel likely to resume
    6. pubs clubs and possible gaming venues will reopen
  • National Cabinet has agreed that in July we would have moved through these 3 steps across the country
  • Reinforced that this plan is completely up to states / territories to implement on their own timetable and they are responsible for communicating it to their local people
  • The other 3 criteria to enable the early announcement of easing of restrictions remain the same:
  1. Further medical evidence that the plan would not produce undue risk
  2. Tracing capability
  3. Ability to control any outbreaks
  • Downloading CODVIDSafe app is the most important tool moving forward for people as they start coming into more contact with others from the easing of restrictions (total downloads now at 5.3 million users)
  • For industry and businesses – its all about getting COVIDSafe plans in place for your workplaces and your premises, Safe Work Australia doing excellent work in this area
  • National Cabinet will be reviewing progress of the 3 Step Plan every 3 weeks and implement changes as needed

The CMO’s comments:

  • Updated slideshow shown demonstrating Australia’s flattening of the curve – a small increase in last few days, related to clusters at Meat Works in VIC and Newmarch House aged care in NSW
  • Very low case numbers despite these two clusters
  • Still need to be cautious and wary on our next steps
  • Good news on testing – 730,000 tests to far, just shy of 6900 cumulative cases at the moment, 6 of our 8 states have had several days of no new cases
  • Slide shown with a chart of various measures introduced vs the case numbers to show the impact
  • Roadmap to COVIDSafe Australia Step 1 – Cautious, gentle, not doing too much at once – we are in unchartered territories – not many countries like Australia in the position to start relaxing measures with such low case numbers – we don’t want to lose control – need to make sure cases are managed – everyone must keep practicing social distancing, hygiene, staying home when unwell no matter how mild your cough or sore throat is and every single person with potential symptoms is to have a COVID test
  • Roadmap to COVIDSafe Australia Step 2 – looking at larger gatherings, may be bigger in some states with good COVIDSafe plans, gyms, indoor fitness, cinemas, beauty therapy etc – still a bit of work to be done
  • Roadmap to COVIDSafe Australia Step 3 – much more relaxed, still lots of work to be done – we have more certainty on step 1, but each state / territory will define and how they implement that – hoping for more travel around the country
  • The Gov’t asking the community to keep those personal responsibilities up – distancing and good health – every Australian must do these things
  • If we do the right thing, we can get through the next few months to gradually get us into a COVIDSafe Australia

Answers to media questions:

  • There will be outbreaks moving forward – but we must keep going ahead – that’s why we need to have the plans in place (testing, tracing and controlling) and to ensure Australian’s are doing the right thing (COVIDSafe app, social distancing, hygiene, workplaces with plans)
  • Border restrictions – interstate travel – they are not part of the national baseline – decisions of States / Territories – each will decide when it is prudent to
  • International travel – intl students – there is a possibility in step 3 to look at how students can come back into Australia under strict conditions (still to be worked through, but open to anything to help the economy back and firing again)
  • The Gov’t is acting on bringing projects plans forward to help the economy – they wanted to get through the issues around reopening the economy and now there is a clear plan in place for businesses to prepare – it is now important for states / territories to communicate and implement local plans build confidence
  • Moving forward there is likely going to be a permanent change in the cavalier attitude going of work with a cold or flu – probably two permanent changes – 1) regular good quality hand hygiene and 2) staying at home if you’re unwell mentality – it will help keep others protected

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