Mike's Minute: What's our post-Covid plan?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 5 Jul 2021, 9:45AM

Mike's Minute: What's our post-Covid plan?

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 5 Jul 2021, 9:45AM

Australia, if you missed it, has announced a four-phase plan out of lockdown.

This is important because basically they're in the same boat we are.

How the hell do you join the rest of the world? I asked that of Ashley Bloomfield a week or so back, and he said he hadn't thought about it, which struck me as astonishing.

Thank God Scott Morrison has.

They're in phase one now. Like we are with a mess of a vaccine rollout, but at least they’ve recognised that and are doing something about it. They have more than one jab and they’ve opened up AstraZeneca to younger people and the numbers are up significantly.

Phase two, and this is the part we need to pay attention to and hopefully do something about. Lockdowns will be exceptionally rare and if they are used, and here is the key, the vaccinated will have different rules. That’s the part Bloomfield hadn't thought about.

They are also looking at home quarantine for arrivals who are vaccinated. At that point more students will be allowed in and economic visitors as well. That is the aspirational side of Australia. That’s the side of Australia that actually wants to get on with repairing the economy.

Say what you want about them but at no point have you ever got the impression that they have wanted to remain locked down, at least not federally anyway. You can't say that about our government.

Our lot continue to be deeply conservative, like many of the Australian State Premiers. But they also look to be almost enjoying the power that comes with our fortress mentality. There is no plan beyond hoping Pfizer turn up with some more vaccine soon.

You add Australia's four-phase plan to Britain's, which involves as of July 19 basically no restrictions at all, and you can start to see that a country locked down unvaccinated is very fast going to become the outlier, not the norm.

And the country in that position is not going to be able to take advantage of the rest of the year and into 2022 as business starts getting done again.

The line of people here wanting a plan is now ridiculous. Every business sector, anyone in education, the airlines, the airports, the cruise industry, hospitality, and tourism. They have all lined up this year and said the same thing, what is the plan?

Why don’t we have one?