NSW records three COVID-19 cases, Brisbane lockdown to end as zero local Queensland cases recorded, mask restrictions to remain
He welcomed news that Greater Brisbane would emerge from lockdown on Monday night, following three days without any local COVID-19 cases after a hotel quarantine cleaner contracted the highly infectious UK variant of the virus.
“When it comes to lockown, when it comes to borders, state governments, the federal government, are following the medical advice and that’s critical,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“Measures need to be considered, measures need to be common sense, and measures need to be compassionate as well. This virus is not going away. We haven’t eliminated this virus. We’re not about to eliminate this virus. So it’s our ability to deal with the cases when they arise that will determine the speed and the trajectory of our economic recovery.”
He singled out NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, congratulating her for “targeted and proportionate” measures to tackle outbreaks.
But the Treasurer would not be drawn on reports that Victoria will move to a traffic light system to allow for travel across state borders.
The Herald Sun reported today that Victoria could allow for travel to any destination considered a “green zone”, without any cases, or get tested and isolate after visiting an “amber zone”. Victorians would not be allowed to travel to red zones under the proposed system.
Speaking on the economy, he said 85 per cent of the 1.3 million Australians who either lost their jobs, or saw their hours cut as a result of the pandemic, were now back at work.
“Business and consumer confidence has now picked up to its pre-COVID levels,” he said.
He also spruiked the federal government’s tax cuts, saying almost 8 million workers had an extra $760 in their pockets over the past six months.
New data compiled by the Australian Taxation Office shows a total of $5.9 billion flowed back to 7.8 million earners nationally through the low- and middle-income tax offset in the six months to January. The offset, also known as the “lamington”, gives these income earners up to $1080 back in their pay over the year.