Australia is “not too far away” from easing coronavirus restrictions.
In a press conference this morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that Australia is “not too far away” from easing coronavirus restrictions.
The Prime Minister shared that the National Cabinet will meet today to discuss “the road back”.
Despite “the road back” becoming closer, however, the Prime Minister reiterated that international travel and mass gatherings won’t be resuming “anytime soon”.
“It won’t be exactly like it was before. I can’t see international travel occurring anytime soon. Can’t see that. The risks there are obvious,” he explained.
“The only exception to that, as I have flagged, is potentially with New Zealand, and we have had some good discussions about that. But outside of that, that is unlikely,” he added.
“But I look forward to the time when Australians can travel again within Australia. I look forward to the time where they can sit down for a meal at a restaurant or a cafe or a pub again.
“I look forward to the time where they can see, whether it is the AFL, the netball, the NRL, or whatever code they support, and being able to watch that again.
“But I can’t see them going along to a game for a while, those larger mass gatherings.”
Morrison also shared that the COVIDSafe app, which is the “ticket” to fewer restrictions, has been downloaded 2.8 million times.
“We would encourage all Australians, if you want to see us return to the more eased restrictions that I know you’re looking forward to and that I’m looking forward to, then it is important that you download the COVIDSafe app. That is your ticket, Australia’s ticket to a COVIDSafe Australia where we can go about the things that we love doing once again,” he said.
He stressed, however, that the app is not compulsory.
“As I said, downloading the app is like putting on sunscreen to go out into the sun,” he said.
“It gives us detection as a nation. It protects you, it protects your family, it protects your loved ones, it protects our health workers, and it protects your job, and the jobs of many others, because it enables us to move forward, and get the economy back on the track we want to be on.”
Christine Morgan, the chief executive of the National Mental Health Commission, also joined the Prime Minister at the press conference.
Morgan shared that since the pandemic measures have began, Beyond Blue has “seen a 40 per cent increase in contact being made to it over this time last year”.
“We are also hearing – and this is anecdotal – that people aren’t feeling as safe as they once did. That is a concern,” she said.
She also reiterated the need for Australians to keep up and maintain their mental health checkups and appointments.
“I have said before that it is incredibly difficult to go behind closed doors to see what is happening in confined spaces, but we can look at the increase in calls to 1800 RESPECT, we can look at the increased calls, not there, but which we have also recorded, to Men’s Help Line,” she said.