Restrictions hope as PM flags moves to ease bans - but when?

THE Australian PM is updating the country on the COVID-19 latest, warning the economic impact will be harsh and explaining he cannot force the states and territories to open schools.

Scott Morrison has confirmed restrictions will soon be eased but we will not have the details of this until Friday.

He said each state and territory would have their own roadmap for lifting bans but there would be further discussion when the National Cabinet meets.

"I will seek to have as consistent national position as possible, but ultimately each state and territory is  the arbiters of their own position, but I have no doubt they will seek to do that and as consistent a way as possible," Mr Morrison said.

"They are already moving on many restrictions,

"I would expect that on Friday there will be some restrictions formally eased which many states have already moved on.

"I think that framework will assist states but our hope that where we get to on Friday can lay out much more of the roadmap for Australians so they can see what is happening for weeks and months ahead."

Mr Morrison said he hoped workplaces would be open before too long.

"It is not just being able to go back to a workplace that is safe but also about being able to do that confidently," he said.

"Let's not forget when we ease these restrictions, you will see numbers increase in some areas, you will see outbreaks occur in other places, that is to be expected.

"What matters is how you deal with it and how you respond to it.

"It s important that businesses, employees and employers have the tools to deal with the Covid-19 environment and ensure they are all working together to support a COVID-19 safe workplace."

Meanwhile, Mr Morrison has revealed how many Australians have sought income help.

By day's end, more than one million people will have had their claims processed for Jobseeker payments.

Around five million Australian are estimated to be accessing the JobKeeper support and more than one million have asked to access their super.

At least 384,000 businesses are accessing around $7 million in cash flow assistance.

Mr Morrison has warned Australians his government cannot force schools to re-open as they are governed by the states and territories.


"The National Cabinet more than any other tool I have seen in my time in public life, has brought about a consistency of approach between states and territories," he said.

"Not a uniformity but a greater consistency.

"And within those discussions they have always been candid, they have always been honest and they have always been in good faith.

"At the end of the day every premier, every chief minister, has to stand in front of their state and justify the decisions that they're taking in terms of the extent of the restrictions that are in place.

"Having spoken to all the Premiers and chief Ministers regularly they are in no shortage of pressure on the decisions they are making I can assure you but I respect the fact that they each have to make their own call just as do I and they have to explain to it the people that live in their state and they have to justify it."

Mr Morrison said downloads of the CovidSafe app had passed five million - well short of the 16 million he would like to see.

"If you have come into contact with someone who also has the app who has been infected by COVID-19 you will know and people will get in touch with you so they can tell you you have been officially compromised by the virus," he said.

"And then you can make decisions to make sure you protect your other family members and those in your household and around you."

Earlier today Mr Morrison met with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to talk about travel bans and other issues.

Ms Adern said safety remained "top of mind" for any potential easing of restrictions to allow flights between her country and our's

Ms Adern said she was "comfortable and confident" New Zealand would not receive COVID-19 cases from Australia if travel between the two countries resumed.

"Equally we won't export them," she said.

Ms Adern said relaxing the travel ban would not mean imposing a 14-day quarantine requirement.



Lane 4 bows out and Council dives in

Premium Content Lane 4 bows out and Council dives in

Swim coordinator wanted to help take on management of public pools.

Firefighters battle more than flames as storm rages

Premium Content Firefighters battle more than flames as storm rages

Firefighters had to battle more than flames last night when they responded to a...

Repeat drink-driver caught six times over limit avoids jail

Premium Content Repeat drink-driver caught six times over limit avoids jail

“It’s the highest reading I’ve ever seen,” the magistrate said in court.