State, federal and territory leaders are meeting today to decide on a framework for easing Australia out of lockdown restrictions, which means we might know very soon when we can get to the pub again.
At today’s National Cabinet meeting, it’s expected that leaders will decide on a step-by-step relaxing of restrictions, starting with the least risky (e.g. allowing more people to gather in a private residence) to the most risky (e.g. allowing people to fill up entire stadiums again).
It’s also expected these will be rolled out over four-week periods, reports the ABC. But don’t think you’re going to the MCG anytime soon: we’re talking long-term, here. It’ll be months before life returns to pre-coronavirus times, if ever.
Another thing to consider is that it’ll be up to the states and territories when to roll back the restrictions. Just because Scott Morrison says it today doesn’t mean it’s happening immediately, ya know?
So what might this easing of restrictions look like? Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he wants restaurants, schools and logistics businesses to open first, due to the economic benefits. Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said there’s a case to “gently promoting” domestic tourism (even interstate), meaning you might be able to book that cosy winter cabin. And Morrison is reportedly dead keen to allow gatherings of up to 10 people in a private residence – although NSW and Victoria have already said this won’t be happening by Mother’s Day.
We also don’t know in what capacity restaurants (and pubs) will reopen. Jacinda Ardern gave an indication of how pubs in New Zealand will operate once they’ve opened up, and it’s a bit grim.
For several weeks now, most states have limited outdoor travel to “essentials only”, with cafes and restaurants limited to takeaway, cinemas and gyms closed, all sport cancelled, weddings limited to five people and funerals to 10. It’s been strict, but necessary. And now we might finally be seeing a return to (some kind of) normality.
It’s all happening today, mates. Strap in.