‘Lockdowns are in the rear vision mirror’: PM

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says today’s national accounts, which will show a sharp contraction for the September quarter, will underscore why large-scale lockdowns must be a thing of the past.

Speaking after the state and territory leaders agreed at national cabinet to adhere to their domestic reopening plans, Morrison said, “those lockdowns are in the rear vision mirror”.

“There is a commitment to keep going forward, not going back,” he said. “We’re going to take Australia forward.”

The national accounts will show the full effect of lockdowns that crippled NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

The emergence of the omicron variant has raised fears that some states will pause plans to reopen domestic borders for Christmas and revert to lockdowns if necessary.

Morrison said he was buoyed by initial findings that vaccines were effective against the omicron variant and that it made people no sicker than other variants.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said it would take another two weeks of examining the data before experts could be more definitive about omicron.

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