Tag: National Cabinet

Australia’s four phase National Plan COVID Response announced – 50 % cut in inbound overseas arrivals, more funded repatriation flights


By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 2 July: National Cabinet agreed to formulate a National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID Response from its current pre-vaccination settings, focussing on continued suppression of community transmission, to post-vaccination settings focussed on prevention of serious illness, hospitalisation and fatality, and the public health management of other infectious diseases.

The National Cabinet which met today morning agreed in principle that the plan consists of the following phases, each triggered by the achievement of vaccination thresholds expressed as a percentage of the eligible population (16+), based on the scientific modelling currently being conducted for the COVID-19 Risk Analysis and Response Task Force. The PM announced the National Plan at a media conference at the Parliament House in Canberra. The four phases of the plan are as follows:

A. Current Phase – Vaccinate, prepare and pilot

Continue to suppress the virus for the purpose of minimising community transmission. Measures include:

Implement the national vaccination plan to offer every Australian an opportunity to be vaccinated with the necessary doses of the relevant vaccine as soon as possible;
Temporarily reduce commercial inbound passenger arrivals to all major ports by 50 per cent from current caps by 14 July to reduce the pressure on quarantine facilities, due to the increased risks of the Delta strain of the virus;
Lockdowns to be used only as a last resort;
Commonwealth to facilitate increased commercial flights to increase international repatriations to Darwin for quarantine at the National Resilience Facility at Howard Springs;
Commonwealth to extend additional support through the International Freight Assistance Mechanism to ensure maintenance of essential freight supply lines impacted by the reduction of commercial caps at international airports;
Trial and pilot the introduction of alternative quarantine options, including home quarantine for returning vaccinated travellers;
Expand commercial trials for limited entry of student and economic visa holders;
Recognise and adopt the existing digital Medicare Vaccination Certificate (automatically generated for every vaccination registered on AIR);
Establish digital vaccination authentication at international borders;
Prepare the vaccine booster programme; and
Undertake a further review of the national hotel quarantine network.

B. Post Vaccination Phase

Seek to minimise serious illness, hospitalisation and fatality as a result of COVID-19. Measures may include:

Ease restrictions on vaccinated residents – such as lockdowns and border controls;
Lockdowns only in extreme circumstances to prevent escalating hospitalisation and fatality;
Restore inbound passengers caps at previous levels for unvaccinated returning travellers and larger caps for vaccinated returning travellers;
Allow capped entry of student and economic visa holders subject to quarantine arrangements and availability;
Introduce new reduced quarantine arrangements for vaccinated residents; and
Prepare/implement the vaccine booster programme (depending on timing).

C. Consolidation Phase

Manage COVID-19 consistent with public health management of other infectious diseases. Measures may include:

No lockdowns;
Continue vaccine booster programme;
Exempt vaccinated residents from all domestic restrictions;
Abolish caps on returning vaccinated travellers;
Allow increased capped entry of student, economic, and humanitarian visa holders;
Lift all restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated persons; and
Extend travel bubble for unrestricted travel to new candidate countries (Singapore, Pacific).

D. Final Phase

Manage COVID-19 consistent with public health management of other infectious diseases. Measures may include:

Allow uncapped inbound arrivals for all vaccinated persons, without quarantine; and
Allow uncapped arrivals of non-vaccinated travellers subject to pre-flight and on arrival testing.

It was also decided the Commonwealth will fund an increased number of facilitated commercial (repatriation) flights, utilising capacity at the Centre for National Resilience at Howard Springs; and extension of additional support through the International Freight Assistance Mechanism to maintain essential freight supply lines says a National Cabinet media statement from the PM’s office.

National Plan to transition Australia s National COVID-19 Response - July 2021-page-001

Australia’s three-step staggered measures to relax COVID-19 restrictions



By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 8 May 2020: Australia’s three months staggered 3-step roadmap to dilute Coronavirus restrictions starting this month is likely to generate 850,000 jobs by the end of July. Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced at a nationally televised media conference his ‘go back to work in a COVID-19 safe environment and getting the economy back to a more sustainable level’ plan finalized by the National Cabinet, which met today morning. The plan to be reviewed in three weeks will see individual states deciding their course of actions as per their objective situations.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews addressing a media conference here said he will announce the changes to the rules in Victoria on Monday (11 May 2020).

There have been 6,899 confirmed cases in Australia and sadly 97 people have died. There are now only around 1,000 active cases in Australia, and over the past week, daily infection rates have remained low. Testing remains high, with more than 730,000 tests undertaken in the country.

Australia has so far been highly successful in ‘flattening the curve’. The number of new COVID-19 cases in Australia each day is very low. We can now begin to take careful steps to ease some of the restrictions that have helped us suppress the spread of this virus.

The PM said, “We are confidently and cautiously taking the first step to lifting restrictions. Our success so far means we have slowed the spread of COVID-19 and built the capacity in our health system to manage the impact of the virus. We can now start to progressively ease the restrictions we have in place. The AHPPC has provided strong advice on the conditions that must be met as we establish COVID safe ways of working and living so that we can reopen parts of the economy in the safest possible way while living with COVID-19. This means that many Australians can start getting out to the shops, undertaking some local trips and travel, visiting playgrounds and public parks, and having friends and family around with a bit more freedom.

But the National Cabinet is very clear: continued suppression of COVID-19 is about collective action. Success depends on maintaining our new community norms – physical distancing, good hygiene practices, and downloading the COVIDSafe app to keep us all safe while we are out and about.

For businesses, this also means taking the time to prepare and develop a plan to operate in a COVID safe way to protect their customers and workers. With every one of us playing our part, we should all feel safe and confident in leaving the house and starting to do some of the things we’ve missed in the last few months – like getting back to work, having a quick bite in a restaurant or cafe, attending auctions and open houses, and participating in group exercise.”

For each of the major areas of restrictions we have set out three key steps between where we are now and where we want to be.

·Step 1 will focus on carefully reopening the economy, and giving Australians opportunities to return to work and social activities, including gatherings of up to 10 people, up to 5 visitors in the family home and some local and regional travel

·Step 2 builds on this with gatherings of up to 20, and more businesses reopening, including gyms, beauty services and entertainment venues like galleries and cinemas.

·Step 3 will see a transition to COVID safe ways of living and working, with gatherings of up to 100 people permitted. Arrangements under step 3 will be the ‘new normal’ while the virus remains a threat. International travel and mass gatherings over 100 people will remain restricted.

See the above graphic for a detailed plan of the three steps.

” National Cabinet also committed – as part of the three-step plan – to regular reviews and stocktake assessments of our progress every three weeks. We will be closely monitoring the situation as restrictions are eased. This will enable us to assess the impact of changes, track progress against our agreed precedent conditions, determine the pace of moving through the steps, and make any further decisions. The AHPPC and National Cabinet were very firm on this. We are prepared for an increase in case numbers or possible outbreaks, but relapse should not be an option. A second wave is not something we can afford to go through. The cost to our people, our economy, our social fabric, is too high. We should look to build success in each step, and move forward safely and with confidence, ” the PM said.

Addressing the media conference the PM said the ” National Cabinet again encouraged Australians to download the COVIDSafe app to ensure that we can protect Australians and reset baseline restrictions. More than 5.3 million Australians have already downloaded the COVIDSafe app. This is an enormous achievement, but more is needed.”

National Cabinet gears up to loosen restrictions & kick start the economy to a more sustainable level

Photo: PM Facebook page

By SAT Newsdesk

MELBOURNE, 5 May 2020: Out of the 6,849 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia of which about 1,000 are active cases, sadly 96 lost their lives. The daily infection rates are low. This is triggering the urge to loosen restrictions and get the country’s economy moving again. The government seems to be moving in that direction but it wants people to download the COVIDSafe app to ensure that Australians can be protected and baseline restrictions reset. Nearly 5 million Australians have already downloaded the COVIDSafe app.

Today’s nationally televised media conference had Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy and the Chair of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission, Mr. Neville Power, apart from Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Many questions from journalists were answered and on one question on the origin of the Coronavirus the PM said, a wildlife wet market most likely is the origin of the Coronavirus but an independent review of the issue is needed.

The National Cabinet agreed to establish a three-step framework to gradually remove baseline restrictions to enable Australians to live in a COVID-19 safe economy. Details will be determined by National Cabinet on Friday 8 May 2020.

Individual states and territories will determine the timeframe for graduating between steps and individual restrictions to remove. This reflects the fact that states and territories are at different stages of the pandemic response, with six of the eight states and territories now recording multiple zero case days.

A media release from the PM’s office says, ” It is National Cabinet’s aim to have a sustainable COVID-19 safe economy in July 2020. This will be subject to strong epidemiology results, testing, tracing and local surge health response capacity. National Cabinet noted that some health measures will need to be in place for a considerable period of time including social distancing, strong hygiene, and international travel restrictions. Some jurisdictions may choose to maintain interstate travel restrictions.”

Today’s National Cabinet welcomed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for a part of today’s meeting to discuss approaches to combating the virus. Answering a journalist’s question the PM said, the ‘Safe travel zone’ with New Zealand is ‘still some time away’.

The Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy provided an update on the measures underway, the latest data and medical advice in relation to COVID-19.

The Chair of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission, Mr. Neville Power, briefed the National Cabinet on the importance of a proactive and consistent approach to supporting businesses and workers to safely return to work – drawing on the National COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles that had been agreed by National Cabinet on 24 April 2020.

National Cabinet agreed that Safework Australia would be the single source of information, which will allow businesses to plan with confidence and consistency. A toolkit is being developed for businesses to use, to help them be work-ready in a COVID-19 safe environment. National Cabinet encouraged businesses to be prepared for reopening, to protect their workers and protect their business.

The next meeting of the National Cabinet is on Friday 8 May 2020 when a decision on which restrictions are to be loosened will be taken.