So how will the lifting of restrictions allow us to live a 'normal' life? Will the pandemic be under control? Every state is differently vaccinated: this link is a pdf report from the government Department of Health dated 2 October 2021. You can print it out. So far, it seems, that the children aged 12-15 are the lowest vaccinated as at 2 October, but are they included in the 80% we need for restrictions lifted? Why has it taken the government so long to include them in the vaccinations?
According to an ABC article dated 9 August 2021, the schools in three states were facing their own problems with Covid. For most of those school, lockdowns were applied and thousands of those children faced home education. In Queensland, at least, they had to wear masks. Their education is drifting off, with no older student thinking now that they will be able to do their end of year exams, and why should they miss out on what we all know is the last of their high school education? Pandemic is the critical issue.
Many non-vaccinated people - and even some vaccinated - are able to carry the disease and pass on to others. Hospitals at least don't have anywhere near as many vaccinated people end up there, but it seems that most of those non-vaccinated who end up in hospital are the most possible of dying. The Health Department statistics, also 2 October, show that more men than women up until age 80 have been more open to Covid - and more men have died from Covid than women up to the age of 80. Before this year, when vaccination was set up, we were trying to suppress Covid because at that stage we had no vaccinations. Lockdown was precedent. A Reuters article dated 1 September 2021 acknowledged that Australia now realises that they can't get over it, but they must work with it: it seems that Aus dealt with it much better than some countries globally.
If we meet the 80% but some non-vaccinated want to fly overseas, will they be allowed? What do we need when we have had the two vaccinations? The overseas airlines may demand a copy of a government vaccination passport, as said by IATA (International Air Transport Association). They advise that "governments need to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing COVID-19. This means having accurate information on passengers’ COVID-19 health status." They have definitive lists of what passengers must supply, and that includes their proof of vaccination, when they were tested, and have the ability to share their results. Being positive with Covid might mean they can't travel in the IATA airlines. It will be interesting to see whether that does work. Or not. The BBC did a report in July this year on some countries which require vaccination passports. It may be necessary to read.
There is nothing that guarantees we will meet 80% by every state by the end of October - or even November - but many are looking forwards to travelling overseas at christmas time, either on holiday or simply visiting their own overseas families. I would love to go to NZ and visit my family, but who knows how I can plan ahead for that? To lift the flight restrictions state by state will be a real slap on the face for those from a state which has not yet met that percentage. Each state should, in my opinion, keep the flying restrictions in place and help the slower states to catch up.
And maybe, just maybe, we will be back to 'normal' by the end of this year.