Australians to remain under restrictions until 70% population vaccinated

The Prime Minister has delivered the harsh truth of the vaccine targets that Australia needs to hit before regaining total freedom.

State and territory leaders met again today, with the vaccine rollout heavily dominating discussions.

They’ve set vaccine targets for our four-phase plan out of the coronavirus pandemic, of which we’re currently in phase A – the ‘suppression’ phase.


Leaders have agreed that at least 70 per cent of the population will need to be vaccinated before they move onto the next phase of our way out of coronavirus.

Lockdowns are expected to be less likely during this phase – the ‘transition’ phase – but the Prime Minister admits he can’t rule them out as a ‘useful tool’ for limiting serious illness and hospitalisations.

International border caps will return to the levels they were previously at for vaccinated and non-vaccinated arrivals, and low-level international arrivals will be allowed to happen in some capacity.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says that restrictions will be eased on vaccinated residents, but details are yet to be finalised on this.

We will ease restrictions in phase B on vaccinated residents. The details of that are still to be worked through. They are still to be determined.

“So those matters have not been settled and we’ve established a small working group involving the Northern Territory, Victoria and Tasmania, and they will lead the work on that process with their officials and those premiers bringing back to the National Cabinet a set of recommendations as to what the options will be for those different arrangements for vaccinated residents in Phase B.

“So if you get vaccinated, there will be special rules that apply to you. Why? Because if you’re vaccinated, you present less of a public health risk.

“You are less likely to get the virus. You are less likely to transmit it.

“You are less likely to get a serious illness and be hospitalised and you are less likely to die and so, that principle of easing restrictions on vaccinated residents, details of which are still to be worked through, is an important one that’s been agreed in principle tonight,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Before we can move on to phase C, which is the ‘consolidation phase’, at least 80 per cent of the eligible population will need to be vaccinated.

Lockdowns are not likely for entire cities during this phase. It will focus on minimising serious illness from the coronavirus, as well as hospitalisation and fatalities.

International travel will be allowed to return in some aspects, where Australia will be able to open up travel with other ‘safe’ countries.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the vaccine targets need to be achieved as a nation, AND as a state before individual states can move on.

At each stage, I want to be clear about what the vaccination targets mean for phase B and phase C. States and territories move into the next phase when one, the national average for the vaccination program as a percentage of eligible adults is achieved nationally and then that state itself has achieved the vaccination threshold in their own state.

“So, it is like a two-key process. To get to that next phase, all of Australia has to get there together on average and then beyond that, each state or territory will pass into that second and third phase space when they reach those thresholds.

“As I stressed, they are expressed as a percentage of the eligible population.

“The thresholds which we are announcing tonight completely 100% consistent with the scientific modelling and advice provided together by the Treasuries and the Doherty Institute,” Mr Morrison said.

The announcement comes as Sydney battles through a worsening outbreak of the highly infectious Delta outbreak, authorities say the only answer to it will be getting vaccines in people’s arms.

The Prime Minister says that states will be able to move on from their restrictions separate from each other.

The plan that we’ve agreed in principle today, this plan, recognises the different starting points of states and territories in terms of where they are right now.

“And we’ve agreed that no state under the current suppression phase and beyond should be required to lift restrictions and or increase restrictions beyond where they currently are right now. 

“All states have their settings in place to deal with the circumstances they are currently facing.

“Be they the lockdown restrictions that we’re going through currently in Sydney and New South Wales, the easing out of lockdown in Victoria, and South Australia, or indeed, the less restrictive settings that are in place in Queensland and Western Australia and so on.

“So under this plan, no state or territory is required to increase the restrictions beyond where they are right now,” the Prime Minister said.