/PM announces ‘special rules’ for vaccinated Australians in Phase B of COVID-19 pathway

PM announces ‘special rules’ for vaccinated Australians in Phase B of COVID-19 pathway

Restrictions will be eased for jabbed Australians as part of the second phase of National Cabinet’s COVID-19 pathway which will be anchored by a 70 per cent vaccination rate.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, National Cabinet had agreed on its four-phase pathway out of COVID-19 after the Doherty Institute provided its vaccination modelling.

The vaccination benchmark for Australia to move away from a COVID-19 suppression-focus was set by Doherty at 70 per cent.

Any given state or territory will move out of the first phase to the second once their state average and the national vaccination average reaches 70 per cent.

“So, it is like a two-key process. To get to that next phase, all of Australia has to get there together on average,” Mr Morrison said.

“Then beyond that, each state or territory will pass into that second and third phase space when they reach those thresholds.”

As part of the transition to phase B the Prime Minister said “we will ease restrictions” on vaccinated residents, but assured the exact details were “still to be determined”.

Mr Morrison said the eased restrictions for vaccinated Australians in phase B was justified by the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission in those with the vaccine.

“If you get vaccinated, there will be special rules that apply to you,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory will form a “small working group” and will report back to National Cabinet on the details of the program.

“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,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison said digital vaccination certifications are only “days away” where Australians can show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination via a digital wallet.

“The digital vaccine certificates, we’re making great progress on. It already exists for those who are getting vaccinated now but to be able to, in the next phase, and we are only days away from this, for it to be dropped into an Apple wallet,” he said.

“We will have that in place before these arrangements will be enacted as a result of these motion thresholds.”

The announcement comes after the Grattan Institute put the vaccination threshold at 80 per cent before Australia could stray away from a ‘Zero COVID’ policy.