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National Cabinet agrees to transition to Phase D of COVID-19 roadmap


The next phase of looser COVID-19 restrictions are set to come into effect, after National Cabinet agreed to transition to Phase D of the national plan.

The premiers and Prime Minister concluded today that states could now transition to Phase D as they see fit.

While no timeline has been announced, the expectation is that some states will begin the process this month.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference after National Cabinet.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference after National Cabinet. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Phase D will include the opening of international borders to vaccinated tourists without quarantine.

The national plan also allowed for uncapped arrivals of unvaccinated visitors subject to pre-flight and arrival testing.

COVID-19 will be managed in Phase D “consistent with influenza or other infectious diseases”.

The federal government as well as NSW, Queensland and Victoria are going to begin a plan to restart cruises.

Passengers sit with their luggage after disembarking from the Ruby Princess cruise ship at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay, Sydney.
There has been no cruises allowed in Australia following the Ruby Princess debacle. (Kate Geraghty/Sydney Morning Herald)

It comes after two years without cruises in Australia.

Third dose mandates won’t be set nationally except for aged care workers, National Cabinet has agreed.

States would decide other local mandates when it came to boosters.

The Prime Minister has also called for a winter preparedness audit to ensure systems are prepared for an expected COVID-19 winter wave.

That audit is expected by the second week of March, led by the federal Department of Health.

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The next National Cabinet meeting will be held in mid-March.



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