PM outlines plan to reopen economy and ease restrictions

National cabinet announces three-step plan for safe economy by July.

PM outlines plan for easing restrictions

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has emerged from Friday’s national cabinet meeting with a three-step plan to achieve a COVID-safe economy and society.

In a detailed press conference, Mr Morrison explained that the goal would be to move through all three of these steps to move to a COVID-safe economy by July this year.

“In this plan, we walk before we run,” Mr Morrison said. “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 setbacks. Not everything will go to plan.”

Step one of the three-point plan will enable greater connection with friends and family.

Things that will be allowed include:

  • gatherings of up to 10 people, and five guests in your own home
  • children back in classrooms and in playgrounds in their communities
  • recreational activities such as golf, lap swimming and boot camps
  • retail and small cafes and restaurants reopening
  • interstate recreational travel starting again
  • an easing of restrictions for funerals with up to 30 attendees, outdoors, and 10 at weddings.

Step two will allow larger-size gatherings of up to 20 people, including for venues such as cinemas and galleries, and more retail openings.

Step three will see gatherings of up to 100 people, but the timing will depend on the success of the previous steps.

Mr Morrison explained that it was hoped Australia would progress through these three stages by July, but the responsibility for the pace of implementation would be up to the individual states and territories.

“They’ll be responsible for setting their own timetable and communicating that to their citizens and residents in their own states and territories,” Mr Morrison said.

“Premiers and chief ministers have asked me to stress there should be no expectation of step one starting on day one. Unless they are indeed already there. Moving on these steps will take some preparation.”

Movement from step to step will depend on medical evidence that suggests further easing will not present an undue risk, that widespread testing is identifying community transmission and, thirdly, public health actions are able to trace cases and trap local outbreaks.

Commonwealth chief health officer Brendan Murphy said Australia was in a good position, but it was important not to lose those gains.

“There’s not many countries in the world like Australia … in a position to start gently relaxing measures with such low case numbers,” Dr Murphy said.

“We don’t want to lose the control we’ve got. We want to make sure that outbreaks that occur are managed and controlled.”

In other news, opposition leader Anthony Albanese blasted the government over its early access to the superannuation scheme, with alleged fraud depriving many Australians of their retirement savings.

The government has now suspended access to the early release scheme, but Mr Albanese said this problem was entirely predictable.

“When the government unwisely chose to allow early access to superannuation withdrawal, which will, of course, damage people’s entitlements when it comes to their retirement, which will reduce the liquidity of superannuation funds, and distort the market investments that are made in the future by superannuation, Labor warned about the potential for fraud,” Mr Albanese said.

“Not only Labor, but the superannuation industry wrote to the minister on 1 May, on the very day that this fraud was uncovered, the minister wrote back and said ‘nothing to see here’.

“It’s very clear that this suspension is not only necessary, it could have been foreseen and, indeed, was foreseen by the superannuation industry and by Labor when we raised these issues in the national parliament.”

Mr Albanese also said the economy was unlikely to ‘snap back’ after reading the information in the Reserve Bank’s May statement.

“What the Reserve Bank estimates is that unemployment will hit 10 per cent,” Mr Albanese said. “That real household disposable income will fall by 8 per cent in June, but it will also fall by 8 per cent in December.

“What we’re looking at here is long-term impact on living standards of Australians as a result of the coronavirus crisis. And the government needs to acknowledge the idea of snapback is simply not going to work.

“They’ll need to put in place measures that keep people in employment, that promote employment, and that promote economic activity, if we’re not going to have a prolonged downturn.”

What do you think of the revised timeline for the easing of restrictions?

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COMMENTS

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Incognito
8th May 2020
3:59pm
Will have to wait until the State Premiers have their say until we know how it effects us. The sooner we get the economy running the better in the long run. We can all still choose to keep our distance and stay home if you are vulnerable.
Horace Cope
8th May 2020
4:00pm
"What do you think of the revised timeline for the easing of restrictions?"

What I think doesn't really matter, the medical panel, the federal and state government representatives have made these decisions on our behalf with all available information to date. Australia is the envy of the western world because of the way the COVID-19 working group has steered us into having a very low number of deaths, sad as that may be. As that group has now agreed on the next step in the recovery process, all I can do is to comply with absolute confidence in their abilities.
BigAl
8th May 2020
4:12pm
We must get the economy up and running again. The three step plan is just too conservative. The longer the shutdown, the more devastating on the economy. May take 3 years to get back to some form of normality. So far we have lost close to 100 people at my estimated cost of $10B per person. The effects of long term unemployment will be far more detrimental on society's long term health and standard of living than the coronovirus.
Greg
8th May 2020
6:05pm
You're right it may take three years, so what's a few more months in the big picture.

You may see it as $10B per person, others would see it as saving thousands of lives because without the shutdowns the case numbers and deaths would have been far higher.
BigAl
8th May 2020
6:29pm
Long term unemployment and lower standards of living will end up reducing quality of life and lifespan more than than the coronovirus. You may save more lives now but you reduce health standards in the long term. Look at what you can buy with $10 000 000 000 - hospitals, schools, better teaching, better quality food, houses etc etc etc. And your robbing the younger generation of their future entitlements because they are the ones who will ultimately pay for all of this. And that just isn't fair. Most of the people who have died have been in their eighties and already had pre-existing health conditions (co morbidity). Do you really want the country to go into a depression!!!!!!!!!!!
Incognito
8th May 2020
6:42pm
Only the rich like a depression because they can then buy up big time.
Paddington
8th May 2020
4:19pm
I also watched the expert epidemiologist and she said that she would prefer zero cases before proceeding. Some States have that so safe for them. Another interesting thing she said was to wear masks on public transport but not gloves. It is better to wash hands thoroughly before and after travel especially. She understood the government’s motivations and believes they would tighten restrictions if needed be in the future which was reassuring.
It is important that States wait for their own State to be safe before proceeding. NT looks especially safe and SA looked pretty good too. WA is fairly remote so if they continue to keep their borders closed they should be okay too. Qld is different with such huge areas and most population in the south east. We are ex Queenslanders so understand the massive size there. Victoria and Tasmania and NSW are different from the rest as well. Tasmania and Victoria are much colder too. Victoria is small and densely populated compared to Qld or WA. Next week our premier will allow a few things I am guessing like fishing maybe golf kind of things. I would like a drive but happy to stay at home otherwise because I would not survive the virus and do not want the suffering. A 31 year old in another country who was healthy suffered greatly and was left with a myriad of health issues like stroke and heart attacks so it is not a flu or a cold for some.
Incognito
8th May 2020
4:55pm
Well don't forget we all don't live in densely populated areas, I only see a handful a people a day from a distance. Rural areas are already recovering from bush fires.
Staggo
8th May 2020
4:51pm
Our PM embarrassed himself on 7:30 recently by responding to the first humanitarian question with a rant about our economy - he had to be quite forcefully returned to the question. My sense is that he really is mostly interested in the $'s and not very much interested in the fate of individuals. Thank heavens for our state systems which WILL look out for US.
Foxy
8th May 2020
5:07pm
.... the Govt. never steered us into having a low death rate lol - their CMO was wrong - their "modeling figures on deaths" were wrong ...very wrong! They are now patting themselves on the back big time because they have managed to "brainwash" a huge percentage of people these past few weeks into "panic mode" with their scaremongering - blackmailing tactics re the App. and "testing" etc. etc. - the list goes on!

Even today "The Furphy" and his beloved "PM" kept talking up the "Virus" to suit their own agenda!

People are hurting financially - businesses need to reopen immediately - kids need to get back to school .....the State Premiers different decisions are "questionable" - "Dictator Dan" is a "panic ridden fool" - he is destroying Vic.

To think we as people are being "told what to do like children" by this cretin! Simply beggars belief! Have any of these Govt. "experts" had their livelihoods/lifestyle changed in any way? NO!! Would be a different story if they had!

Incog. and BigAl are correct IMO ......
Paddington
8th May 2020
6:25pm
Move to another State then because most Victorians agree with our premier. We are not in the same situation as Qld or SA or NT or WA. Choose one of those! NSW might suit you too. Probably not Tasmania although there is a Liberal leader there but he is still doing the right thing by his people. If it it political your rant then Tasmania is safer as cut off from the mainland. At present, Victoria is doing the right thing for our situation.
Foxy
8th May 2020
8:44pm
"Move to another State then"? LOLOLOL Aren't you simply the "charm"!!??

Where are you living "la la land"??? You must be because for you to say "most Victorians agree with our Premier" - is total and utter BS! He's not called "Dictator Dan" or "Red Shirt Dan" for nothing and those are his "nice" names!!

Not one person I have "listened to/spoken to/read letters/read journalists columns appears to agree with his draconian measures and "talking down" to people like they are children! You obviously do not read papers - read social media sites or have a great deal of intelligence? Judging by your answer to "MY OPINION" it appears you would rather just be insulting?

I do not vote for either of the two major parties - so hey MYOB!
Paddington
9th May 2020
12:15am
You are pretty insulting yourself. I really appreciate Dan Andrew’s caution. A recent survey had over three quarters of the people were happy with his caution. In fact, it was just over 10% who totally bucked the restrictions. The balance was made up of people who would be happy so long as schools could go back.
If I did not like Victoria I would go elsewhere so why would you not want that when you are so unhappy with the majority view. I am an ex Queenslander but like it here better.
I will look for that survey for you.
SuziJ
9th May 2020
9:47am
I actually live in another state to 'Dictator Dan', but my local radio and TV only has Victorian news, etc. I'm sick of listening to Victorian news and warnings in regards to the Covid-19 virus. They think that the Border/North East must be all attuned to the Victoria way of life as we're all thought of as Victorians, but we're not!

I do know that the only news from Sydney I can get is on channel 102 on Foxtel @ 7pm. At least I get news appropriate for my state, and not so-called news that's irrelevant to where I live.

I was in a local shop yesterday, and the only warnings the radio had were for Victoria and not NSW!
Anonymous
9th May 2020
10:35am
As usual you have brain dead people like Paddington who are sheep with low IQs who will follow Dictator Dan"s every word, personally I like to do my own thing and not rely on a left wing Commo like Comrade Dan to tell me what to do, him with health Minister Mikakas who has no Health qualifications she was only a union thug in real life also telling us what to do. If I want to see Mum on mothers day I will and so will millions of Victorians. Dictator Dans mum won't even speak to him she thinks he's a piece of crap which is so true
wheels
8th May 2020
5:26pm
I agree with the post by 'Big Al'. And Ive been saying it for weeks now. Gradual opening needed, but not timid testing of a gradual opening up spaced too long. Be too careful, Gladys in starting soon, and you'll have no clubs , restaurants and an almost destroyed workforce. On top of that the bill grows weekly for future taxpayers....You won your first objective without too much lost in lives, you haven't achieved much if you're afraid to test the possibilities and push further. Action and decisiveness is needed as outlaid by the PM.
Cool Nanna
9th May 2020
9:04am
At this stage it’s a wait and see how we go. Lifting the restrictions too quickly will cause chaos!! We are in such a good position compared to the rest of the world. “LET’S KEEP IT THAT WAY”
Incognito
9th May 2020
2:15pm
Not lifting restrictions is already causing chaos.
Foxy
9th May 2020
4:35pm
Exactly!


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