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Scott Morrison outlines three conditions of lifting coronavirus restrictions

Scott Morrison outlines three conditions of lifting coronavirus restrictions

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has outlined three conditions that need to be met before the government will consider lifting restrictions in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Scott Morrison outlines three conditions of lifting coronavirus restrictions

The conditions were agreed upon by the national cabinet, and included increased testing, improved contact tracing and being able to lock down localised areas.

“Beyond those who are symptomatic, if we are to move to a different phase when it comes to the restrictions, we need an even broader testing regime than we have at this point,” Morrison said.

“Now, we have one of, if not the most extensive testing regime in the world today. But we need to do even better than that to make sure that we can have greater confidence that when we move to a lesser restriction environment, we can have confidence we can identify any out breaks very, very quickly and respond to them.”

The prime minister also outlined the need to have an even greater tracing capability, saying it needed to be lifted to “an industrial capability”.

“We need to do that as soon as we possibly can, and we will be needing the support of Australians, if we can get that in place, get the tracing capability up from where it is, that will give us more options and Australians more freedoms.”

Finally, Morrison explained that the third area was the need for a local response capability.

“There will be other outbreaks, in other parts of the country, and in all states and territories, we need that ability to move very fast to be able to lock down an outbreak where it occurs and make sure it does not transmit more broadly within the community.”

The PM said national cabinet agreed today they will use the next four weeks to make sure they can get these conditions in place, and said the baseline restrictions that were set some weeks ago will remain in place “until we can achieve those three goals”. 

Morrison also warned Australians to prepare for worse news when it comes to the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The prime minister said “we do need to prepare ourselves as a country for some very sobering news on the economic front in months ahead”.

“I think Australians understand that and are ready for that, but it is always difficult to receive that news,” he said.

“We are working on that road out, and we are working on that road ahead in the recovery piece that will see people getting back into work and Australia getting through this into other side.”

Morrison also acknowledged that promises made over the election period will be reviewed, saying “any sense of business as usual when it comes to the policy framework we had at the election will need to be reconsidered on the other side”.

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