Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hit back at opposition from state premiers over the country’s roadmap back to pre-pandemic life, saying the days of pursuing an elimination strategy for Covid 19 are over.
“Any state and territory that thinks that somehow they can protect themselves from COVID with the Delta strain forever, that’s just absurd,” Mr Morrison told Today.
The prime minister said you only needed to look at what was happening in New Zealand to prove striving for COVID-zero was not a realistic option with the Delta strain.
“New Zealand can’t do that. They were following an elimination strategy. They’re in lockdown. The way through is to get to those 70 per cent and 80 per cent marks (for vaccination) and open safely,” he said.
Striving for a popular culture reference to the COVID-19 situation in Australia, Mr Morrison said you could compare it to the popular children’s movie The Croods.
“Some wanted to stay in the cave and the young girl wanted to deal with the challenges of living in a different world,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Morrison is facing increasing opposition from state premiers, particularly Western Australian leader Mark McGowan and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who have expressed concerns the situation has changed since Australia’s roadmap out of COVID-19 was agreed to at National Cabinet.
Under the deal agreed to at National Cabinet, Australia would start to see less COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions once we reach 70 per cent and 80 per cent of eligible Australians aged over 16 vaccinated.