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What is the Covid-19 Exit Strategy of 'Zero Covid' countries such as Australia and New Zealand?

WelshBluebird

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I wonder how we'd be talking about Australia and New Zealand right now if they had the same vaccine take up we have had? To me it seems like its that bit of the plan that has failed for them. Without it - as has been said by many people in this thread they don't really have a way out. But I'd imagine if they had the same takeup we do, they probably would be looking at getting out of this mess, maybe with a requirement to have had the vaccine for tourists travelling in (which is no different to what is mandated for some countries with many other diseases - even though I know that would annoy a lot of people here specifically).
 
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Domh245

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I wonder how we'd be talking about Australia and New Zealand right now if they had the same vaccine take up we have had? To me it seems like its that bit of the plan that has failed for them. Without it - as has been said by many people in this thread they don't really have a way out. But I'd imagine if they had the same takeup we do, they probably would be looking at getting out of this mess, maybe with a requirement to have had the vaccine for tourists travelling in (which is no different to what is mandated for some countries with many other diseases - even though I know that would annoy a lot of people here specifically).

Highly speculative, but I expect Aus/NZ would be uneasy removing restrictions with vaccinations at the UK's level. Given the lack of population immunity from infection, they'll need to achieve higher vaccine uptake than we have to get similar results. It is possible that they'd settle for lower vaccine uptake and a high bar of entry (vaccine + test + quarantine) but given the apparent aversion to having any covid cases, I'd be surprised if they accepted anything other than the smallest of small exit waves
 

big_rig

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Highly speculative, but I expect Aus/NZ would be uneasy removing restrictions with vaccinations at the UK's level. Given the lack of population immunity from infection, they'll need to achieve higher vaccine uptake than we have to get similar results. It is possible that they'd settle for lower vaccine uptake and a high bar of entry (vaccine + test + quarantine) but given the apparent aversion to having any covid cases, I'd be surprised if they accepted anything other than the smallest of small exit waves
Agreed. Countries like Norway and Finland are probably much better examples to think of (especially given they have treated their citizens overseas much better than Australia, unless there are hordes of locked-out Norwegians hiding somewhere).
 

Yew

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(which is no different to what is mandated for some countries with many other diseases - even though I know that would annoy a lot of people here specifically).
A minority of developing nations with minimal travel and tourism.
 

scarby

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Looks like the Ashes cricket tour is in doubt with England players unwilling to tour Australia under severe restrictions and without families after over a year of long spells spent in ‘bio-secure’ bubbles.
 

brad465

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Malcolm Turnbull has voiced some scathing criticism of the vaccine rollout in Australia:


Former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull tells the BBC that his nation's vaccine rollout is "the biggest failure of public administration I can recall".

(This primarily a video)
 

LAX54

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Highly speculative, but I expect Aus/NZ would be uneasy removing restrictions with vaccinations at the UK's level. Given the lack of population immunity from infection, they'll need to achieve higher vaccine uptake than we have to get similar results. It is possible that they'd settle for lower vaccine uptake and a high bar of entry (vaccine + test + quarantine) but given the apparent aversion to having any covid cases, I'd be surprised if they accepted anything other than the smallest of small exit waves
Australia could be well into 2022 before there is any sign of borders opening I would have thought, they are so far behind the rest of the World.
 

duncanp

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The lockdown in Sydney doesn't appear to be working, as it has been extended by at least another month. Restrictions have been tightened, with a new limit on how far you can go for essential shopping being imposed.

They seem to be persisting in their Zero COVID fantasy strategy, as the authorities say "..they cannot re-open until the transmission rate is back to near zero..."

But protests in Australia are growing, and are only going to increase as they see the rest of the world opening up, due to their higher vaccination rates.



Covid: Sydney extends lockdown as other Australian cities reopen​


Sydney's lockdown has been extended by another month as Covid cases continue to rise.
Australia's largest city has been under stay-at-home orders since late June due to an outbreak of the Delta variant.
More than 2,500 people have been infected in Sydney's worst outbreak this year.
New South Wales - of which Sydney is the capital - reported 177 new cases on Wednesday, the most in a day since March 2020.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was not possible for the city to exit lockdown on Friday as had been planned.

She announced further curbs on movement - including a 10km (6.5 miles) limit on essential shopping.
Victoria and South Australia both came out of lockdowns on Wednesday, after containing smaller outbreaks.
Sydney's five million residents had enjoyed a fairly normal lifestyle this year until the outbreak happened.
For most of the pandemic, Australia has kept infections relatively low by closing its borders and ordering hotel quarantine for arrivals.
State governments have plunged cities into rapid lockdowns to curb outbreaks, using aggressive contact tracing.

There have been over a dozen snap lockdowns in the past year.

But experts warn that restrictions in Sydney could last until September or even later.

Authorities say they cannot re-open until the transmission rate is back to near zero.

The highly policed lockdown has fuelled discontent among some in the community.

Several thousand people staged "freedom" protests in Sydney, Melbourne and other cities on the weekend

t has also highlighted the nation's bungled vaccine programme, which began in February.
Just 16% of Australia's adult population is vaccinated.
Critics have blamed the low rate on the federal government's failure to secure more supplies of the Pfizer vaccine.
They also attribute it to confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine being undermined by mixed messaging about its rare blood clot risk.
The national regulator has recently updated its guidance to urge Sydney residents to get the AstraZeneca jab, of which Australia has a large supply.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologised for his government's handling of the rollout last week, following months of criticism.
 

Pete_uk

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I'm not sure if it wote this here or on another forum, so sorry if I repeat myself.

Does the Australian government realise that even with, say, 90% of the population vaxxed, when they open up the virus will come in and people will get I'll and some will die.

Also, if the Australian government don't like to give the AZ vaccine because of the clot risk, do they not give women 'the pill' as there is a higher risk?
 

DelayRepay

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I'm not sure if it wote this here or on another forum, so sorry if I repeat myself.

Does the Australian government realise that even with, say, 90% of the population vaxxed, when they open up the virus will come in and people will get I'll and some will die.

Also, if the Australian government don't like to give the AZ vaccine because of the clot risk, do they not give women 'the pill' as there is a higher risk?

They've changed their tune on the AZ vaccine now, but I think the damage is done.

You are right that, even if they achieve almost full vaccination, they will still have a covid surge when they open up. I think their strategy made sense at the start as a short term containment measure when we didn't really understand this virus, but it's not sustainable. And certainly not sustainable coupled with a very slow and ineffective vaccine roll out.
 

brad465

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The lockdown in Sydney doesn't appear to be working, as it has been extended by at least another month. Restrictions have been tightened, with a new limit on how far you can go for essential shopping being imposed.

They seem to be persisting in their Zero COVID fantasy strategy, as the authorities say "..they cannot re-open until the transmission rate is back to near zero..."

But protests in Australia are growing, and are only going to increase as they see the rest of the world opening up, due to their higher vaccination rates.


The bit about Sydney potentially having to stay in lockdown until September or even later caught my eye. It's clear this strategy isn't working for them, as covid now appears to be infectious enough to spread in the community despite being in lockdown for so long already. The lockdown might be slowing transmission down, but it certainly isn't containing covid.
 

Pakenhamtrain

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They've changed their tune on the AZ vaccine now, but I think the damage is done.

You are right that, even if they achieve almost full vaccination, they will still have a covid surge when they open up. I think their strategy made sense at the start as a short term containment measure when we didn't really understand this virus, but it's not sustainable. And certainly not sustainable coupled with a very slow and ineffective vaccine roll out.
What's the tune the band playing this week? I've lost count how many times the advice on AZ has changed.
 

DelayRepay

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What's the tune the band playing this week? I've lost count how many times the advice on AZ has changed.

All individuals aged 18 years and above in greater Sydney, including adults under 60 years of age, should strongly consider getting vaccinated with any available vaccine including COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. This is on the basis of the increasing risk of COVID-19 and ongoing constraints of Comirnaty (Pfizer) supplies. In addition, people in areas where outbreaks are occurring can receive the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine 4 to 8 weeks after the first dose, rather than the usual 12 weeks, to bring forward optimal protection.

 

brad465

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And now, in a sign of how much democracy is sinking in Australia, the army are being sent into Sydney to enforce the lockdown there, even though the same article says health officials believe most transmission is happening through "permitted movement":


Australia has deployed hundreds of soldiers to Sydney to help enforce a Covid lockdown.

A Delta outbreak which began in June has produced nearly 3,000 infections and led to nine deaths.

Australian Defence Force soldiers will undergo training on the weekend before beginning unarmed patrols on Monday.

But many have questioned whether the military intervention is necessary, calling it heavy-handed.

The lockdown - in place until at least 28 August - bars people from leaving their home except for essential exercise, shopping, caregiving and other reasons.

Despite five weeks of lockdown, infections in the nation's largest city continue to spread. Officials recorded 170 new cases on Friday.

Soldiers will join police in virus hotspots to ensure people are following the rules, which include a 10km (6.2 miles) travel limit.

State Police Minister David Elliott said it would help because a small minority of Sydneysiders thought "the rules didn't apply to them".

Information provided by health officials indicates the virus is mainly spreading through permitted movement.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance, a civil rights group, called the deployment a "concerning use" of the army in a liberal democracy.
 

yorkie

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Even the BBC are wording the article in a way that expresses concern.

Thus is an attack by the wealthy and 'middle classes' against poorer / disadvantaged people.

As the article says, the virus continues to spread through lawful and permitted activities.

They can't lock down forever and the virus will continue to spread. It will become endemic everywhere.

All they can do us slow it, at huge economic and social cost, to poorer people, while many of the more wealthy people get richer and continue to enjoy their large houses and gardens.

Australia is not only making the mistakes we made, but in an even more Draconian fashion.

Shame on the Australian authorities.
 

Pakenhamtrain

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And now, in a sign of how much democracy is sinking in Australia, the army are being sent into Sydney to enforce the lockdown there, even though the same article says health officials believe most transmission is happening through "permitted movement":

Legally they can't do jack. If it's like Victoria last year it they will have a police officer with them.
 

big_rig

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Sydney really seems to be trying to tick off all the greatest hits of the early-2020 'do something' list of useless activities. How long until they start spraying the streets with disinfectant?
 

bramling

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Sydney really seems to be trying to tick off all the greatest hits of the early-2020 'do something' list of useless activities. How long until they start spraying the streets with disinfectant?

Certainly the expression “when in a hole stop digging” springs to mind.

Has anyone noticed how Sweden now seem to be getting on with life, and even the pro-lockdown contingent seem to have given up moaning about their approach? It does seem that their government are increasingly vindicated. (Yes I do realise it isn’t quite that simple and that elements of Swedish culture aren’t replicated here, but even so).
 

yorksrob

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Certainly the expression “when in a hole stop digging” springs to mind.

Has anyone noticed how Sweden now seem to be getting on with life, and even the pro-lockdown contingent seem to have given up moaning about their approach? It does seem that their government are increasingly vindicated. (Yes I do realise it isn’t quite that simple and that elements of Swedish culture aren’t replicated here, but even so).

Absolutely. The pro-lockdown lot have all gone very quiet on Sweden.
 

Reliablebeam

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I lived in Sydney for a while earlier in my career. The photos shown in the media of todays policing response there are quite chilling - last year after the Melbourne debacle I was worried it would give the blonde clown over here ideas. But thankfully the UK police are incapable of actually doing much in the way of basic policing after so many years of cuts!
 

greyman42

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I lived in Sydney for a while earlier in my career. The photos shown in the media of todays policing response there are quite chilling - last year after the Melbourne debacle I was worried it would give the blonde clown over here ideas. But thankfully the UK police are incapable of actually doing much in the way of basic policing after so many years of cuts!
I lived in Sydney for a while earlier in my career. The photos shown in the media of todays policing response there are quite chilling - last year after the Melbourne debacle I was worried it would give the blonde clown over here ideas.
Australia is a more authoritarian country than the UK. It is not the paradise that some people would have you believe. We should be grateful for that and resist any plans to make our country more authoritarian.
 

Reliablebeam

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Australia is a more authoritarian country than the UK. It is not the paradise that some people would have you believe. We should be grateful for that and resist any plans to make our country more authoritarian.

Completely agreed, I think many in the UK don't comprehend this, I was shocked by how nanny state the place was - very at odds with the happy go lucky image projected...
 

brad465

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The current surge in Australia is now showing up prominently on the Worldometer graph, while still going up. I notice that NSW is over 3,000 active cases now as well.

1627896385897.png
 

kristiang85

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Australia is a more authoritarian country than the UK. It is not the paradise that some people would have you believe. We should be grateful for that and resist any plans to make our country more authoritarian.

Yes, I lived there for a bit and the 'health and safety' culture was absolutely mental, with so many rules and regulations on the population in the name of keeping you safe. And this was 2012! Their approach to this does not surprise me one iota.
 

DustyBin

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I've just seen an update on the situation in Wuhan (and China generally) on BBC News. I didn't realise this, but China are apparently pursuing a zero covid policy with mass (and I mean mass!) testing and harsh lockdowns wherever an infection is detected. Now I don't believe a word the CCP says, but could they be trying to influence events in regional rivals (Australia being one which is why I've posted here)?
 

Lampshade

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I've just seen an update on the situation in Wuhan (and China generally) on BBC News. I didn't realise this, but China are apparently pursuing a zero covid policy with mass (and I mean mass!) testing and harsh lockdowns wherever an infection is detected. Now I don't believe a word the CCP says, but could they be trying to influence events in regional rivals (Australia being one which is why I've posted here)?
Could be because the Sinopharm vaccine is next to useless and they wouldn't be able to get anything like enough doses of the others anytime soon.
 

philosopher

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I've just seen an update on the situation in Wuhan (and China generally) on BBC News. I didn't realise this, but China are apparently pursuing a zero covid policy with mass (and I mean mass!) testing and harsh lockdowns wherever an infection is detected. Now I don't believe a word the CCP says, but could they be trying to influence events in regional rivals (Australia being one which is why I've posted here)?
The issue with zero covid to me is twofold, how do you deal with cases when they arise without too disruption and how do you open to other countries that have endemic covid 19. No zero covid country seems to have solved these issues. In the case of China I get the impression the government there is not too bothered with such a policy causing massive disruption or opening up to rest of the world as their population have no say in how the country is run. Even pre Covid I get the impression the Chinese government was trying to disconnect from the rest of the world anyway.

Since Australia is a democracy, this is not the case in there, which makes me wonder how long their population will put up with being unable to see family abroad or having the ever present threat of snap lockdowns that could last months.
 

brad465

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I've just seen an update on the situation in Wuhan (and China generally) on BBC News. I didn't realise this, but China are apparently pursuing a zero covid policy with mass (and I mean mass!) testing and harsh lockdowns wherever an infection is detected. Now I don't believe a word the CCP says, but could they be trying to influence events in regional rivals (Australia being one which is why I've posted here)?
China already did an outstanding job of that in early 2020 when almost the entire world copied it, directly or indirectly. I do believe on the idea of pursuing a zero-covid policy in that manner, because it sounds like a police-state's mantra.

I think Australia would struggle to go even stricter than what they're already doing, as they were already doing snap lockdowns for a handful of cases and in the case of Sydney an even more prolonged one. This policy is already causing increasing resentment, anything harsher, and/or keeping up the current action for much longer, will only escalate tensions.
 

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