It won’t all be over by Chrissy
AUSTRALIANS should prepare for a Christmas 1.5m apart, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison said some restrictions were likely to remain in place at the end of the year.
It could mean anything from a dampener on office Christmas parties, through to being unable to fly to another state to see family, depending on required restrictions at the time, as the pandemic seems set to drag into 2021.
Hugs and handshakes are all but certain to remain on the naughty list, while handwashing and social distancing will be central to Yuletide cheer.
Mr Morrison said it was a quickly changing situation and it was important not to “get too far ahead on what might happen”.
But he indicated medical evidence suggested that the virus would remain in play for some time to come.
“If circumstances change and certainly if they change in the way we hoped they would, well, I would welcome it if by Christmas, if it were possible,” he said.
“But I think it’s unlikely that we were able to move back to a restriction-free society. But I doubt that is going to happen.
“You’ve just got to follow the medical evidence on all of these, whether it’s borders or whether it’s the restrictions on trade or of local businesses or whatever it happens to be.”
But Mr Morrison also warned that government’s had to be transparent about the medical advice on which they make decisions.
“It’s important that we just, look and test, interrogate the medical evidence and make decisions based on that and nothing else and be transparent about it,” he said.
It is unknown what restrictions may be in place in Queensland by Christmas, given the quickly changing situation.
Several states, including Queensland, are maintaining various border restrictions which also remain uncertain when they will end.
On state border restrictions, Mr Morrison said premiers needed to explain their decisions and the advice upon which they were acting.
“It’s for others to judge whether they’re doing that sufficiently or not,” he said.
Specifically not levelling any criticism, it is a sharp turn around from June when Mr Morrison was urging states to reopen their borders.