Prime Minister Scott Morrison made it clear today that state leaders have a duty to reopen their borders once the vaccination target is reached so that Australians can have “their lives back” by Christmas.
Some states, especially Queensland and Western Australia have recently expressed concern about reopening their borders to other states even once the country has achieved high vaccination rates.
The PM implied that once the hesitant premiers will find themselves in a difficult situation if they don’t open up and continue to isolate their residents from the country.
“It’s very clear, I can’t see any reason why Australians should be kept from each other and so that puts a heavy, heavy responsibility on those who would seek to prevent that from happening,” Mr Morrison told Channel Seven.
“My message is to Australians that what I‘d like them to have for Christmas is their lives back.”
“I think that puts the big challenge on the premiers. I mean, they’ve had the power to do what they’ve been doing. They’re not new powers. They’ve always had them.
“But, you know, there comes a time when you just got to move on and get on with it.”
“That’s within the gift of governments, and that’s a gift I’d like to see us give them”.
It appears the federal government may not be willing to go ahead with Covid passports but instead let the unvaccinated accept the risk once they were provided with the opportunity to get vaccinate.
“Once we get to 80 per cent – the fact is that everybody has had the chance to get vaccinated by that point,” he said.
“If you’ve chosen not to get vaccinated, that’s your choice. That’s fair enough. But should that choice hold back the rest of the country from going forward engaging with those who are overseas, family members that are in India and other places who just want to come home?”
“Once we get to 80 per cent and the fact is that everybody has had the chance to get vaccinated by that point. Well, you know, we each have a personal responsibility for looking after our own health. And so it’s important that we do move forward. We can’t stay in second gear. We’ve got to get to top gear in living with the virus”.
It can be understood that once NSW opens up, the federal government will mount pressure on other states to open up by cutting coronavirus financial support and running political campaign to build up internal pressure in the hesitant Labor states.
The federal government has already started to build up the pressure at every opportunity and this action will further get more momentum once NSW resumes international travel soon.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said at today’s press conference that she wants international travel to start soon.
“Other states may not be ready for that yet but that’s OK, NSW is moving fast and if we feel it’s safe to do so, of course we’ll allow our double vaccinated citizens to move freely”.
This might happen as early as in October as suggested by the federal health minister.
“We have enough vaccines for every Australian to be vaccinated by the end of October. As we have over 12m mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, by the end of October, on top of the 26.6m that have already been vaccinated, plus the AstraZeneca … there is ample vaccine available for everyone who seeks to be vaccinated to have had that opportunity before the end of October,” Greg Hunt said today.