Research suggests states should move away from a COVID-19 elimination strategy.
People hoping to be free from their face masks when Australia hits its COVID-19 vaccination target of 80%, according to new scientific paper.
Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett stated in Public Health Research & Practice, a peer-reviewed journal of the Sax Institute, that face masks should be required indoors until at least the first half of 2022.
She also stated that limitations on large events would be the last to eased.
“There will be some basic measures still in place well into 2022, like masks and density limits, but on the other hand there won’t be any more lockdowns,” she said.
Professor Bennett claimed that because of COVID-19 vaccination rates vary by city and region, Australia’s public health measures cannot be removed until 80% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Professor Bennett of Melbourne‘s Deakin University writes in her study that the new reality for Australia will be living with COVID-19 but not focusing on it.
“It’s a best-case scenario that it’s a back-of-mind thing,” she said.
“It might pop up every now and then, but it won’t be something that has a real impact on our lives. We won’t have to care about it anymore.”
The Sax Institute is a not-for-profit, independent organisation that aims to improve health an wellbeing through research and services. It receives its core funding from NSW Health.
Until then, she said, masks, QR code check-ins, and vaccines were here to stay.
“There’s no way we can ever have a COVID-zero life. It’s not possible. We have to come to terms with cases and even have a threshold for deaths much like the flu.”