'Australians have earned an early mark': Scott Morrison says the decision on whether to relax coronavirus restrictions will be made next Friday

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  • Scott Morrison announced the decision on whether to relax coronavirus restrictions will now be made on Friday, May 8.
  • Previously, he had announced the decision would be made the week following.
  • Morrison said the decision would be contingent on how many Australians download the COVIDSafe contact tracing app.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the decision by the national cabinet on whether to lift some coronavirus restrictions will be moved forward to next Friday, May 8.

“Australians have earned an early mark through the work that they have done,” Morrison said in announcing the change.

On April 16, Morrison announced the decision on whether some restrictions could be relaxed was four weeks away – pegging it in the week of May 16 – and was contingent on increased testing, better contact tracing, and improved local response capabilities.

Now, Morrison has changed his tune slightly, leaning on the fact that defeating the coronavirus relies as much on returning to economic normalcy as actually beating the virus.

“Success during the COVID-19 pandemic is not just about containing the virus and having low numbers of cases,” he said.

“That’s not the only curve we need to flatten – we need to reduce unemployment, we need to get businesses open.”

But improved contract tracing is still very much key to the equation. Morrison stressed that the decision of the national cabinet would depend on Australians downloading the COVIDSafe contact tracing app in larger numbers than they currently are.

“We need that tool so we can open up our economy,” he said, arguing that “millions more” needed to download the app.

Downloading the app remains voluntary, but Morrison has turned it into a pretty large carrot – suggesting we won’t see a lifting of restrictions without it.

“So it’s over to you Australia,” the prime minister said.

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