Earlier this evening Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that the National Cabinet has agreed in principle the four phase plan to reopen Australia. This includes the targets the nation needs to achieve to open all State and international borders, ultimately moving us along to the “final phase”.

At this stage – the suppression phase – there are two simultaneous targets to be achieved before moving to Phase B – the transition phase. This means that 70% of eligible adults must be fully vaccinated (double shots) nationally AND in each State and Territory.

There are no dates associated with the plan, although the Prime Minister said he believed 70% was achievable by the end of the year.

To date, 39.9% of eligible adults have received at least one dose, and 18% of eligible adults are fully vaccinated. As a sweetener, the Prime Minister has said that fully vaccinated adults will receive special privileges – with details around what those might look like to be worked out in consultation with the States and Territories. There will also be incentives rolled out to help achieve those targets.

We outline the phases and the COVID measures we can expect as we move through the plan below.

Phase Target to move into this phase COVID measures in place
A – Suppression phase

Current phase

B – Transition phase

70% nationally


70% for State and Territory
  • Maintain high vaccination rates – including incentives
  • Track, trace, isolate and quarantine still in use
  • Lockdowns less likely, but still possible
  • International border caps still in place
  • Restrictions for vaccinated residents to be lessened – but details still to be worked out
  • Restore caps for unvaccinated residents returning to Australia
  • Lift caps for vaccinated residents returning to Australia
  • New and reduced quarantine arrangements for vaccinated residents
  • New caps introduced for international students and economic visa holders
C – Consolidation phase

80% nationally


80% for State and Territory
  • Minimum baseline restrictions
  • Highly targeted lockdowns only
  • Caps abolished for returning vaccinated residents
  • Caps eased for student, economic and humanitarian visa holders
  • All restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated Australians will be lifted
  • Gradual reopening of inward and out-bound international travel with safe countries
D – Final phase No vaccination target set as yet
  • Living with COVID
  • Opening international borders
  • Only quarantine for high risk individuals

A clear message from our panel was that while there are some circumstances where you can require your people to be vaccinated, it’s important to be careful about the information you request and being clear in how you communicate your policies and requirements around COVID-safety.

Please reach out if you have any questions around what this means for your business and to plan ahead as we move through the four phases.



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