The emergence of a new, more contagious strain of coronavirus in the United Kingdom and other countries means that both Federal and State Governments must act with even greater caution when it comes to overseas arrivals in Australia.
Australia has only achieved its relatively low coronavirus numbers through hard work and by putting public health first. This is now even more necessary than it was in 2020, with a new coronavirus strain driving a daily infection rate in the UK of over 60,000, and overwhelming its public health system. We cannot afford to have the new strain break out in Australia.
The case for tough border controls and keeping coronavirus out of Australia is overwhelming –
- First, public health. No deaths, no hospitals struggling to cope, no people suffering long term organ damage and side effects.
- Second, an economy in which people can work and spend freely, one which isn’t disrupted by stop start lockdowns and restrictions.
- Third, quality of life and mental health. People can live and move about without masks, curfews, intrastate travel restrictions, or the fear of getting coronavirus.
Both the Federal Government and the various State Governments need to put in place tighter restrictions on the number of people entering Australia from overseas, the countries from which they are arriving, and the quarantine arrangements in place once they arrive. The rights of people who want to “return” to Australia (many have been living overseas for years) are not more important than the obligations of Federal and State Governments to keep us safe. In future there will once again be a place for tourists, overseas students and foreign workers, as soon as their countries have defeated coronavirus.
New COVID-19 strains show we are engaged in a life and death struggle with coronavirus. Either we destroy it, or it will destroy us.