COVID four-phase plan: ‘Triggers’ are next crucial step

02 Jul 2021 |

National Cabinet has made significant progress today by agreeing to take into account the vaccination and risk status of travellers as part of its four-phase reopening plan.

“It’s great to see our leaders moving forward today,” acting CEO Jenny Lambert said.

“ACCI has long petitioned for a staged reopening of Australia based on risk.  It’s both sensible and compassionate to allow people who are from low risk areas and those who are vaccinated to be fast-tracked – it’s a more nuanced approach to the way we should be handling quarantine and the movement of people in and out of the country.

“The next crucial step is to make clear what the timeline is or what trigger points are required for Australia to move from one phase to another.

“Business confidence will rely particularly on knowing what percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated so we can move from phase one to phase two.”

ACCI has already released a detailed international reopening plan which talks to risk classifications of countries and travellers, streamlining of vaccinated travellers, and increased momentum on pilots for cohorts of economic significance.

“We also need to see a consistent message from all levels of government in relation to the vaccine rollout which encourages people to go out and get vaccinated. One positive message and incentive mentioned today by the PM was the agreement of State and Territories to ease restrictions and cease use of lockdowns as more Australians are vaccinated,” Ms Lambert said.

“The immediate reduction in the arrivals caps as a result of the Delta variant straining hotel quarantine is a big minus and we hope there can be continuing discussions to reduce the proposed time that these reductions are in place. There are Australians desperate to return as well as widespread labour and skills shortages and the tourism and education sectors are having to wait even longer before other people can arrive in the country.

“We have a long way to go, but overall today’s National Cabinet agreement offers a plan after so much uncertainty and unanswered questions.”

Marie Hogg

Senior Advisor - Media

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