Australian PM Scott Morrison announces three-step restrictions easing plan

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arriving for the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu. Photo: AFP via Australian Prime Minister’s Office/Adam Taylor. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

CANBERRA, May 8, 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced what will be first to reopen under national cabinet’s three-step plan to lift coronavirus restrictions. Mr Morrison announced the plan agreed upon by state leaders in today’s meeting in an address to the nation this afternoon, with the first stage to involve reopening restaurants, cafes, schools, parks and playgrounds, reported.

Step one will “enable greater connection with friends and family, allowing gatherings up to 10 people, and five guests in your own home”, Mr Morrison said.

Working from home will be encouraged. Children will be back in classrooms and playgrounds. Golf is back, pools reopened, fitness bootcamps allowed in parks.

Retail and small cafes and restaurants reopened, and interstate recreational travel will be allowed. Funerals can have up to 30 attendees outdoors, and weddings 10.

“It will see children back in classrooms and in play grounds in their communities. Golfers back on the green. Lap swimmers back in the pool. Boot catch camps back in the parks. Retail and small cafes and restaurants reopening. Interstate recreational travel, starting again,” he said.

Step two will allow larger size gatherings up to 20 people, including for venues such as cinemas and galleries, more retail openings on sector based COVID safe plans, organised community supports, sorry, organised community sport, and beauty parlours, Mr Morrison said.

“And you’ll be pleased to know, barre classes open once again.”

Step three would allow gatherings of up to 100 people.

“This will become clearer as we move through the first two steps. So there will be more work to do on step three,” the Prime Minister said.

“But most workers, by then, will be back in the workplace. Interstate travel will likely resume. Pubs and clubs with some restrictions will be open. And also possibly gaming venues.”

Mr Morrison said the states and territories would outline their own timetables for the three-step plan, and each stage would be assessed on its success, which would determine when to proceed to the next stage.

Mr Morrison said the second and third stages “will get greater definition as we move through the success of step one”.

Announcing the three-stage plan, Mr Morrison said Australia had been “fighting the virus and we are winning” in the fight against COVID-19.

“Today, we move ahead with reopening our economy and our society, with a clear plan, and a clear framework, that shows Australians the road ahead,” he said.

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