Sydney, Australia | Sun, March 13, 2022
Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia said the country’s political leaders want to proceed to a new phase of treating COVID-19 as if it were the flu, but that they would contact health professionals first.
Morrison told reporters on Saturday morning, a day after meeting with the national cabinet of state and federal leaders, that they had discussed moving to “Phase D” of the national pandemic response plan.
“Our airports are open again, international arrivals are welcome, and there are now quarantine exemptions for people returning, so we’re very much at Phase D,” he explained.
The leaders sought to remove the necessity for close connections of COVID-19 cases to be isolated, and he indicated they will seek more input from an expert panel on this.
Morrison, whose conservative government is up for re-election in May, claimed that the isolation requirement was “starving firms of personnel.” “There are a few exceptions, but we believe we are now mostly in Phase D. Remember, living with a sickness like the flu is Phase D “he stated
He predicted that Western Australia and the Northern Territory will be a month behind the eastern states in removing restrictions.
Health experts in New South Wales, Australia’s most populated state, expressed alarm this week about an increase in the new BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron, which they warned might result in a doubling of daily cases by the end of the month from the current figure of 15,000 cases.