PM maps journey out of COVID-19 crisis with timetable for lifting restrictions

National Cabinet has outlined a three stage roadmap out of the coronavirus crisis, as leaders move to reopen the battered economy.

Treasury estimates the plan will see 850,000 jobs restored across the country and inject more than $9 billion back into the economy.

It’s hoped that all three stages will be implemented by July, but it will be up to each individual State and Territory exactly when the measures are introduced.


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Each stage will be reviewed by National Cabinet every three weeks.

Stage one will see households allowed up to five visitors at home and gatherings of up to 10 people outside the home, while students would also return to the classroom.

Restaurants and cafes will also be allowed to reopen along with libraries, community centres, playgrounds and boot camps.

Local and regional travel will be permitted but employees will be urged to continue working from home where possible.

Stage two will allow gatherings of up to 20 people in your home as well as in businesses and public places while some interstate travel will be allowed.

Gyms, beauty salons, cinemas, galleries, amusement parks, caravan parks and camping grounds will reopen during the second stage but only with a maximum of 20 people.

Stage three will see employees return to their workplace while pubs, nightclubs, food courts and saunas will reopen but with a limit of up to 100 people.

All interstate travel will return during the third phase while National Cabinet will consider allowing cross-Tasman and Pacific Island travel and travel by international students.

But other international travel appears unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says we are now in this position because of the great work of all Australians.

“We have put Australia a position to go forward. We have strengthened our health system and put the protections in place,” Mr Morrison said.

“Firstly, we’ve being fighting the virus and we are winning.

Secondly, we have put in place and are delivering the economic lifeline through JobKeeper and JobSeeker and many other programs to get us through the worst
of this, to buy Australians time as we fight the virus and we chart our way back.

“Thirdly, and particularly 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.”

The Prime Minister has warned we need to remain cautious during the easing of restrictions, but it’s also crucial we get the country moving again.

“There will be risks, there will be challenges, there will be outbreaks, there will be more cases, there will be set backs. Not everything will go to plan.

“This is a complex and very uncertain environment, but we cannot allow our fear of going backwards from stopping us from going forwards.”

Mr Morrison says the implementation of stages two and three will depend on the success of the first stage.

“But this is the plan for a COVID-safe Australia, three steps, moved at the pace of states and territories that will get us back where we need to be as quickly as we can.”

Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy says we could see some pubs and clubs reopen before stage three but that would be unfeasible for most given the limits on the number of people who can gather.

“If the states and territories choose to implement in Stage 1, they could start with 10 people. They may well not. For a pub and club, that would be a pretty small restaurant. Similarly in Step 2, they can still do seated dining,” Professor Murphy said.

“The general view is that, with the exception of the Northern Territory, which is moving forward more quickly, that it will be Level 3 before bars and nightclub-type venues without seated dining would be open and gaming-type venues.”

Professor Murphy says it’s important all Australian continue to be responsible as we move out of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Please, keep that distancing, we could lose the battle that we have won so well so far. You only have to look at the nightly news and see what is happening in really good countries with good health systems like Australia, where they let this virus get out of control, unfortunately,” Professor Murphy said.

“We have managed, we’ve been lucky to control this virus and we want to keep that control so while we relax some of these measures cautiously, every Australian has to do their bit.”

Stage 1

  • Up to five visitors to your home
  • Gatherings of up to 10 outside of your home
  • Work from home if it works for you and your employer
  • Libraries, community centres, playgrounds and boot camps open
  • More shopping
  • Restaurants and cafes open
  • Home sales and auctions
  • Local and regional travel

Stage 2

  • Gatherings of up to 20 outside of home
  • Work from home if it works for you and your employer
  • Community sport
  • Some interstate travel
  • Gyms, beauty salons, cinemas, galleries and amusement parks open but only with gatherings of up to 20 people.

Step 3

  • Gatherings up to 100
  • Return to workplace
  • All interstate travel
  • Consider cross-Tasman, Pacific Island travel and international student travel
  • Food courts, pubs, nightclubs, saunas open but only with gatherings of up to 100.

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