Scott Morrison has demanded that state leaders open borders when vaccination rates reach 80 percent so that families can reunite for Christmas.
The Prime Minister said he could not see any reason why Australians should be kept locked up in their state after the milestone set out in the national reopening plan.
“There comes a time when you just have to move on and move on,” he told Weekend Sunrise on Sunday.
“You’ve got to keep the deal you’ve made with the Australian people and that’s once you’re on 80 percent vaccination, it’s very clear you can open up.”
Morrison reprimanded Queensland and Western Australia Prime Ministers Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mark McGowan for refusing to open their borders on time.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged heads of state to open borders when vaccination rates hit 80 percent
Ms Palaszczuk previously said she would like to do more research on the effect of Covid-19 on children before lifting the border restrictions.
Similarly, Mr McGowan has shown resistance to the goals agreed upon in the national cabinet and said his borders are unlikely to open before Easter 2022.
While Mr Morrison admitted it was likely that people would still have to check in to locations using QR codes and wear masks in some environments for a while, he demanded that the rebel prime ministers “give people back their lives.”
“I think that puts the big challenge on the prime ministers. I mean, they had the power to do what they did. They are not new forces. They always have, he said.
“Once you vaccinate 80 percent of your population, it’s very clear. I see no reason why Australians should be kept apart.
‘[Reopening by Christmas] belongs to the gift of governments. And that’s a gift I’d like to see them give.’
The Premier of Queensland was reluctant and said she wants research into the effect of Covid-19 on children. Pictured: Police at a truck stop on the border with Qld
In the photo: people wearing face masks in Perth. WA Prime Minister Mark McGowan is also reluctant to reopen borders
Mr Morrison said he was keen to get Australia to a largely post-pandemic base as soon as possible, with vaccination rates in the 80s and 90s not far off.
“We can’t stay in second gear,” he said. “We need to get to the top of living with the virus. And that’s where we should be.
“We have done remarkably well with our economy through the pandemic and in saving lives. But we have to go to the next chapter.’
Morrison acknowledged that some people will opt out of getting a vaccine, but said the choices made by the minority should not affect the majority.
“Once we get to 80 percent, it’s a fact that everyone at that point has had the chance to get vaccinated,” he said.
“If you’ve chosen not to get vaccinated, that’s your choice. That’s fair enough.
“But what if that choice keeps the rest of the country from moving on with those who are abroad, relatives?” [who] are in India and other places who just want to go home?’
He stated that those who decide not to get the shot are responsible for their own health.
Once Australia’s population reaches 80 percent, international borders are expected to open with a double prod and flight limits on arrivals will be lifted. Pictured: A woman at Melbourne airport
Victoria and NSW have unveiled separate roadmaps for reopening, both of which depend on vaccination rates of 70 and 80 percent.
About 75.4 percent of Australians over the age of 16 have had their first dose of a Covid vaccine and 50.95 percent are fully vaccinated.
“I’m pleased to report that 75 percent of the country’s over 16s have rolled up their sleeves to get their first vaccine dose,” Health Secretary Greg Hunt wrote on Twitter.
“This means we have less than a million first doses to go before we hit 80 percent.”
At the Quad meeting in Washington DC last weekend, the Prime Minister said stranded expatriates can return home once 80 percent of Australians have been double stung.
The goal is expected to be reached in December, but Morrison could not guarantee the 45,000 stranded Aussies would be back in time for Christmas.
Morrison could not confirm whether all 45,000 Aussies stranded abroad would be home in time for Christmas. Photo: Woman at Sydney Airport
He said arrival limits, which were introduced to help manage hotel quarantine figures, would be lifted to allow more Australians to return home.
‘We have operated more commercial flights and if we have to, we will’ [run more]”But once we hit 80 percent vaccinations, that means Australians will be able to travel in the states that are opening up,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“They will be able to get on planes and go abroad and come home, and that means Australians who are abroad and who have been vaccinated with the vaccines that are recognized in Australia can get on planes.” and come to Australia.’
With 80 percent vaccination, international borders will reopen with arrival limits to be lifted as part of the country’s national roadmap to reopening.