NT lockdowns could be replaced with ‘lockouts’: Gunner

Chief Minister Michael Gunner says there should be benefits for people who are fully vaccinated, once all Australians have had the opportunity to be inoculated. “There’s going to come a point where we’ll have made the vaccine available to everybody and everybody will have had a genuine chance to get vaccinated and so therefore it becomes a choice at that point in time,” he said. He said the Government was considering a policy change that would see fully vaccinated interstate arrivals able to home quarantine rather than be forced into supervised facilities at Howard Springs and Alice Springs. “That for us is basically the third step of the national plan, and the most likely option – not settled yet – … would be potentially home-based quarantining at that third stage,” he said. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it’s “absolutely” a guarantee freedoms will come for the vaccinated once 70 per cent double-dose targets have been met. This comes amid modelling which suggests COVID-19 cases will peak in the next week or two and an expected rise in hospitalisations. “The biggest determinant of whether someone ends up in hospital or not, the greatest determinant, is whether they have been fully vaccinated,” Ms Berejiklian said. “Of course, we know some people have very serious underlying conditions or age issues or other issues which make them particularly vulnerable. “But the health experts will tell you … is that the biggest determinant of whether someone ends up in ICU is whether or not they’re fully vaccinated.” Concerns have been raised about the consequences of continued border closures as vaccination rates rise, after the Government indicated it would not change its policy until it had achieved 80 per cent vaccination across all communities. Australian Education Union NT branch president Jarvis Ryan last week warned there could be an exodus of teachers if they are unable to travel interstate and return next year without quarantining. With vaccination rates lagging in some communities, Mr Gunner said the Government was looking to a model that could some see communities “locked out”. “The land councils are already out there talking about this, that you can’t visit a community unless you’re double vaccinated,” he said. NAT – Stay Informed – Social Media “That’s their policy. At the moment it’s difficult to implement, it’s more of an honesty system but we’re obviously working that through as a nation as to what is the process around showing your vaccination status. “For a remote community that’s low on its vaccination rate that would be an example of a public health measure you would probably need to consider. “We’ve got to be moving from a position of lock downs to lockouts.” Get the most from your NT News digital subscription Twitter follow Matt Cunningham

NT lockdowns could be replaced with ‘lockouts’: Gunner

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