Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chief Health Officer Brendan Murphy outlined a three-step roadmap for opening the country’s economy by July; however it will be up to the premiers about when exactly to begin implementing the plan which the Treasury estimates would restore 850,000 jobs.
The first phase of relaxing coronavirus restrictions, announced following the national cabinet meeting on Friday, would open cafes, restaurants and shops and restart libraries, community centres, playgrounds and fitness boot camps as long as these don’t exceed 10 people. People will work from home only if it suits them and their employer, and home visits of up to five people will be allowed. During this stage, children will return to schools and local travel will be allowed.
The second phase will allow gatherings of up to 20 people, with gyms, beauty therapists, cinemas, theatres, amusement parks, galleries, museums and other entertainment venues. Interstate travel would also open up.
The third step, based on 100 people, would open up pubs, clubs, gyms, cinemas and gaming venues and would bring everyone back to work. Federal and state governments have agreed to a July target for implementing the third and final stage of the plan, however “there’s nothing on our radar which would see us opening up international travel in the foreseeable future.”
Following the announcement, Victoria’s Premier Dan Andrews said nothing will change in Victoria for the moment.
“On Monday, and indeed throughout next week, I will have a series of announcements to make about changes to the rules,” he said, adding that the changes would not happen immediately and rules would still be in place “even at the end of May”.
Asked about schools, Premier Andrews said “if you can learn from home, you must learn from home” and notice would be given before students return to classrooms.