Scott Morrison has announced a three-step plan for easing COVID-19 restrictions

Scott Morrison has announced a three-step plan for easing COVID-19 restrictions

Words by Kate Streader

The three-step plan looks to gradually reopen the country by July.

After meeting with the National Cabinet, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed the federal government’s plans for easing social distancing restrictions. The three-step plan will gradually reopen the country, with plans to complete stages two and three and move into the final stage by July.

The first stage will see restaurants, cafes, shops, community centres, playgrounds, libraries and boot camps reopened. Businesses will also allow ten employees in the workplace, though working from home is recommended where possible, while five visitors will be allowed in homes.

Weddings with no more than ten attendees and funerals of no more than 30 people will be allowed while local and regional travel will also be permitted as part of step one.

Stage two will see gathering limits increased to 20 people, as well as the reopening of gyms, community sport, beauty salons, cinemas, galleries and amusement parks. Some interstate travel will be allowed.

While Morrison hopes to enter stage three by July, the governments in each state will determine the pace at which they implement each stage of the plan.

“Not every state agrees with every step, but we look at the relative risk of each thing,” said the Prime Minister. “Some states don’t want to open cafes and restaurants initially, because they feel that their situation, they would prefer to take some time.”

“States will and must move at their own pace, and will cut and paste out of this plan to suit their local circumstances,” he said.

Pubs and clubs will reopen as part of stage three, at which point gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed and some interstate travel will be permitted.

As for international travel, Morrison said, “I can’t see it happening any time soon”.

It is expected that state and territory leaders will make their own announcements regarding restrictions later today.

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