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COVID-19: A plan for a plan to return to ‘normal’

COVID-19: A plan for a plan to return to ‘normal’

As reported earlier, at the press conference held earlier to day by the Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) after the latest National Cabinet meeting, as well as announcing a 50% reduction in international arrivals, he also announced a plan for a plan to get us back to almost where we were before the pandemic.

A ministerial release has been issued which gives us a bit more content than the verbiage from the prime ministerial lips. Here it is below, edited for brevity:

A. Vaccinate, prepare and pilot (current phase)

Continue to suppress the virus to minimising community transmission.

  • National vaccination plan for every Australian to be vaccinated ASAP
  • Reduce commercial inbound passenger arrivals by 50 % from current caps by 14 July. This is to reduce the strain on quarantine facilities, due to the Delta strain
  • Lockdowns as a last resort
  • Increase international repatriations to Darwin for quarantine at Howard Springs
  • International Freight Assistance continuing for essential freight supply lines
  • Pilot alternative quarantine options, eg home quarantine for returning vaccinated travellers
  • Expand commercial trials entry of student and economic visa holders
  • Digital Medicare Vaccination Certificate (automatically generated for every vaccination registered on AIR);
  • Digital vaccination authentication at international borders
  • Plan vaccine booster program
  • Review national hotel quarantine network

B. Post Vaccination Phase

Minimise serious illness, hospitalisation and deaths from COVID-19.

  • Ease restrictions on vaccinated residents (lockdowns and border controls)
  • Lockdowns only in extreme circumstances for escalating hospitalisation and deaths
  • Inbound passengers caps returned to pre-July 14 levels for unvaccinated returning travellers. Increase capacity limits for vaccinated returning travellers
  • Limited entry of student and economic visa holders depending on quarantine capacity
  • Reduced quarantine arrangements for vaccinated residents
  • Implement the vaccine booster program.

C. Consolidation Phase

Manage COVID-19 just like any other infectious disease.

  • No lockdowns
  • Vaccine booster programme
  • Exempt vaccinated residents from domestic restrictions
  • No capacity limits on returning vaccinated travellers
  • Increase capacity limits for students, economic, and humanitarian visa holders
  • No restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated people
  • Travel bubble for unrestricted travel to new candidate countries (Singapore, Pacific).

D. Final Phase

Manage COVID-19 just like any other infectious disease.

  • No limits on inbound arrivals for all vaccinated people without quarantine
  • No limits on arrivals of non-vaccinated travellers subject to pre-flight and on arrival testing

2PAXfly Takeout

All the detail is being left in the hands of the ‘COVID-19 Risk Analysis and Response Task Force’, which I googled, and can’t get any meaningful results for. I presume it will be some kind of Prime Minister and Cabinet internal group with the heads of this and that on it.

I will look forward to more detail; actually any detail would do, like the vaccination requirements to move from one phase to another.

Maybe I should volunteer my project management skills to put together a timeline based on the stated Australian vaccine rollout targets, along with vaccine availability, and combine that with herd immunity information from the WHO, the appropriate British, USA and European health authorities; write it in passive voice with lots of ‘aims to’ and ‘may’s, and Bob’s you’re Aunty.

Two days work, tops.

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