How will Covid lockdowns in Australia be eased?

An AstraZeneca vaccine. Picture: Karleen Minney
An AstraZeneca vaccine. Picture: Karleen Minney

As the ACT joins the growing list of areas across the country back under lockdown due to Delta variant outbreaks, vaccination rates will be one of the key tools to speed up the process to get people back outside the house again.

While Canberra's lockdown may end after its initial seven-day period, broader restrictions across the ACT and the country will be dependent on how many people get fully vaccinated.

Late last month, the federal government outlined a four-phase process to transition Australia out of Covid restrictions. Here's how that would look.

Phase A

Phase A is the stage Australia is currently in at the moment, which includes early lockdowns if outbreaks occur, such as the one in the ACT.

So far, more than 25 per cent of the country is fully vaccinated, while more than 46 per cent have received one dose. The ACT is sitting at nearly 54 per cent of its adult residents having one dose, while almost 30 per cent are fully vaccinated

Phase B

The next phase will be triggered by Australia reaching 70 per cent of the population having two Covid vaccine doses, as well as each of the states and territories achieving the same measure within their own populations.

Under Phase B of the easing of restrictions, lockdown measures would be less likely to occur but would still be a possibility. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said when announcing the transition phases that fully vaccinated people would not have to face some of the restrictions in place, and have reduced quarantine measures.

Phase C

The third stage of the transition would be triggered by 80 per cent of the adult population being vaccinated.

That would lead to no caps on returning Australians from overseas who are vaccinated, and critically, no restrictions on outbound travel for those who have received both doses.

Lockdowns would only be used in highly targeted ways only under this stage.

Phase D

The fourth and final stage would mean the situation in Australia would mostly be back to what they were before Covid, with it being treated as any other infectious disease.

Booster shots would still be required as needed for people in the community, while international travellers coming in from high-risk areas may still need to quarantine.

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This story How will Australia's Covid restrictions be eased? first appeared on The Canberra Times.