The Prime Minister gave a promising update after the National Cabinet meeting yesterday, which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended.
As a nation, we have moved beyond the suppression phase of the virus and policymakers have their sights on strategies to reopen the economy.
On Monday Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed to the National Press Club further motivation to return to business as usual with the current restrictions costing the economy around $4b a week – the equivalent to what around 4 million people on the median wage would make in a week. The Treasurer is anticipated to release a statement next week detailing the impact of COVID-19 on the budget.
It is hoped that around one million Australians will return to work when businesses are reopened by July, however, each State and Territory will move towards this at their own pace. For instance, both NSW and Victoria continue to identify cases of COVID-19 which will no doubt mean that they will be more cautious as they move towards business as usual.
To support this move the COVID-19 Coordination Commission will provide a series of tools, including a website to provide safety protocols and guidelines for operating safely in the COVID-19 environment. There will be 23 categories of business covered, with COVID-19 Coordination Commission Chair Nev Power highlighting mining, supermarkets and food processing as sectors that were well placed to resume full operations.
It is anticipated that the next National Cabinet meeting on Friday will provide some additional insight into how we will move towards this reopening, including a first-round of restrictions to ease. This is likely to provide some relief to cafes and restaurants.
This July milestone could coincide with the opening of borders between Australia and New Zealand – facilitating tourism and business.
A key component of lifting restrictions remains the ability to trace any cases of the virus. Approximately 5 million people have downloaded the COVIDSafe app so far.
- ends -
Further enquiries, please contact:
National Communications Manager
Grant Thornton Australia
T +61 2 8297 2724