Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed domestic travel will resume by Christmas. Speaking in a press conference on Friday afternoon after this morning’s National Cabinet meeting, Morrison said the plan to reopen Australian domestic borders by Christmas has been agreed to by all states and territories, except for Western Australia.
“The plan I outlined at our last meeting and we spoke over here, after the last meeting, has now been agreed with the one exception of Western Australia, which I have already flagged,” he said.
“That is a plan to have Australian back open [where it is safe] with the exception of Western Australia. The plan importantly embeds public health metrics in ensuring that when Australia opens safely that it remains open safely, and that is incredibly important.
“There are things that need to happen, and importantly, the work of Doctor Finkel’s National Contact Tracing Review, which identifies additional metrics that are needed to ensure we are always aware that we are staying on track, and have the protections in place to keep Australia open.”
Morrison also announced Queensland will start lifting their cap on international arrivals, saying: “Other matters dealt with today of course is getting Australians home, this remains a very significant challenge.
“And while we will see some 25,000 or so Australians return to Australia since I first spoke about this some weeks ago if not months, the number of Australians coming has been growing every day, every week, including the number of vulnerable Australians.
“We are getting vulnerable Australians home, we are getting thousands of Australians home. We have increased, 150 new places will be coming out of Queensland, we thank them for that. And Tasmania, and we have signed up for additional capacity in the ACT and NT, but the challenges are still greater than the people to receive people in quarantine.”
It comes as Australia only recorded eight new coronavirus cases overnight, all of which are overseas arrivals in hotel quarantine.
Meanwhile Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced further easing of restrictions across the state, revealing gatherings will be bumped up to 40 to 50 people, up to 200 people will be allowed at weddings and funerals, indoor events will be increased from 50 per cent capacity to 100 per cent and outdoor events will be increased from 1,000 to 1,500. These changes will come into effect from 4pm next Tuesday.
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