Sydney lockdowns will continue until Christmas unless 80% of people get vaccinated says the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison

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National cabinet will start creating the path out of lockdowns on Friday when the country’s leaders look at how many Australians must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to end economically damaging restrictions.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian has previously cited a figure of 75 to 80 per cent of the population needing to be vaccinated before the virus was allowed to circulate in the community.

On that measure, about 5 million people would need to have received both jabs in NSW, but at the moment only 1.1 million people have received both doses.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed late on Wednesday that the federal government had been sent The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity’s modelling on the vaccination levels required to end the need for lockdowns and work was under way to combine that with Treasury predictions ahead of Friday’s meeting.

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“We are setting the targets scientifically, combined with the economic advice as well, and that gets us a roadmap to Christmas, I think, that means that we’ll be living life different at Christmas than what we are now.”

At the start of July, Mr Morrison revealed a four-phase plan to return Australia to a form of COVID-normal, with open borders and few restrictions. This masthead has reported the Doherty Institute’s modelling will have different vaccination thresholds for older and younger Australians.

Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday stressed a spike in vaccination rates, along with a tightened lockdown, were critical to Sydney emerging from lockdown on August 28, after the city recorded 177 new cases, its highest number this outbreak. The state also registered another death, taking the number of people who have died in this outbreak to 11.

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