Scott Morrison and national cabinet leaders are preparing for targeted lockdowns to run into next year, with Treasury updating its assumptions on the frequency and economic ramifications of Covid-19 restrictions in response to the highly contagious Delta strain.
Scenarios prepared by the Doherty Institute outlining the optimal vaccine coverage required for Australia to begin opening up have been shared with Treasury officials, who have been tasked with modelling the economic costs of various health outcomes.
The Australian understands Treasury is updating its assumptions on the frequency of lockdowns and other Covid-19 restrictions, which will be provided to national cabinet leaders to balance the health and economic advice.
Ahead of Friday’s national cabinet meeting where state and territory leaders will be briefed on the Doherty Institute’s preliminary findings, the Prime Minister refused to commit to lockdowns ending by the end of the year, saying “no one can give those guarantees”.
“The virus is unpredictable and it would be irresponsible to do so,” he said.