South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has thrown his full support behind the national COVID-19 recovery plan, indicating state lockdowns and lockouts will become a thing of the past before Christmas.
The plan from national cabinet, which sees a transition away from widespread lockdowns starting when vaccination rates hit 70 percent of the adult population to only highly targeted lockdowns at 80 percent vaccination, has caused some consternation among some states, but not South Australia.
“Once we get to double dose 80 percent vaccination across South Australia we will certainly move away from state lockdowns,” Marshall told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.
“I think we will get to the double dose vaccination well before Christmas here in South Australia.”
Australia’s most populous state NSW has also said it is working in accordance with the plan agreed to in national cabinet.
Double dose vaccinations for people aged over 16 in South Australia are currently running at a fraction above 40 percent.
The leader of the state’s Liberal party said he was not seeing much hesitancy to get vaccinated compared to a couple of months ago.
“There is a lot of time to go until we get to that position, but we do know that as we increase our vaccination rate we reduce that transmission rate, we reduce hospitalisation,” he said.
“It is going to be a tough period over the next three or four months.”
The plan agreed to by the states and territories expects premiers to move away from state lockouts, and more towards LGA and exposure site exclusions rather than whole of state.
The premier said he expects businesses may insist on people being vaccinated, but that is not something that will be endorsed by governments unless agreed on at the national cabinet level.
Federal Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan welcomed Marshall’s backing of the national plan.
“That’s wonderful news, in particular for our domestic tourism industry,” he told Sky News.
He said 660,000 jobs rely on people being above to move, particularly between state and territories.