Many people around the world have been immunised, particularly in Europe and the United States. The northern summer vacation is coming to an end, and while cases in some countries, such as the United Kingdom, have increased, hospitalisation and death have decreased due to a large number of people being immunised.
With the Green Pass, people can travel freely in Italy and France, and other countries will follow suit soon. So, the question is, why can’t we all live the same kind of life? Unfortunately, the Federal Government and state Premiers continue to fail to recognise that achieving a Covid zero stage to re-open will not work because the virus will always find its way in sooner or later.
In another warning shot to state premiers, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared that lockdowns will be unsustainable once widespread vaccination coverage is achieved.
The prime minister continues to put pressure on state governments, implying that he may back out of an agreement to end lockdowns and reopen Australia.
To reduce the likelihood of lockdowns and move towards more normal settings, the national cabinet has set vaccine coverage thresholds of 70% and 80%.
When immunisation targets were met, Morrison stated that the focus would shift to hospitalisation numbers rather than daily cases.
“That is our goal: to live with this virus rather than fear it,” he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
Consensus has broken down, with Western Australia refusing to budge from its zero-case goal and Queensland warning that even at the higher jab threshold, it may not reopen its border with NSW.
On Friday, updated Doherty Institute modelling will be presented to the country’s leaders at a national cabinet meeting.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stated that the initial research was based on reopening 30 community cases.
The coronavirus outbreak in New South Wales continues, with 818 new local cases and three deaths reported on Monday.
There were 71 new infections in Victoria, while there were only 16 in the ACT.
Australia has fully vaccinated 30% of its population aged 16 and up, with the remaining 52% receiving only one jab.
Mr Morrison stated that the severe restrictions, which affect more than half of Australia’s population in Victoria, New South Wales, and the ACT, could not be maintained indefinitely.
“It is always darkest before the dawn,” he said, “and I believe these lockdowns are evidence of that.”
“However, the dawn is not far away. We should not postpone it; rather, we should prepare for it. We should not be afraid of it; rather, we should embrace it and move forwards together.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who has abandoned efforts to eradicate the virus, agreed with the prime minister’s assessment of the future.
“Just as we tend to talk about the number of people that die from flu when we have 80 per cent double dose vaccination that’s how we’ll treat it,” he said.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly believes eliminating all cases is not achievable in the long term.
Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles urged the prime minister to take charge of the plan to reopen.
“We’re getting this debate at the moment because we don’t have leadership from the federal government,” he told Sky News.
“Scott Morrison has gone missing and he’s struggling to get all the states on the same page.”
Qantas boss Alan Joyce said it would be a “terrible shame” if the agreement was not maintained and challenged premiers to explain how life would return to normal.
“There would be a big backlash if people can maybe even go to London and visit relatives there for Christmas but can’t go to Perth to visit their relatives,” he told the ABC.
By Joe Cusmano