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Federal Budget Is Prepared For Possible Reintroduction Of Covid Restrictions

While the government’s focus in Tuesday’s budget was easing the cost of living for Australians, it has also planned for further Covid-related restrictions.

The budget outlines strategies to deal with a fresh wave of Covid infections in winter, with preparations for reintroducing density limits and social distancing.

“Now that pandemic-related activity restrictions have been wound back and vaccination, along with improved treatment options, are the primary tools for managing the virus, the conditions are in place for a sustained economic recovery,” the budget papers said.

“While Covid-19 remains a risk to the outlook, the economic impact of outbreaks has continued to moderate over time due to Australia’s high vaccination rates, more effective treatment options and the adaptation of consumers and businesses to ongoing community transmission.”

The budget predicts the employment rate will fall in September to 3.75 percent.

However, the budget is prepared for businesses to be hit by employee absenteeism and pressures on supply chains as Covid infections increase.

The budget says it “is assumed that high vaccination rates and improved medical treatments, together with continued community adaptation to Covid-19” will see the economic impact of future outbreaks “to moderate”.

“It is assumed that public health measures such as physical distancing and density restrictions are phased down, but reimposed in a targeted way in response to future Covid-19 outbreaks,” it said.

“These public health measures are not expected to materially affect the economic forecasts.”

But in good news for the tourism sector, the budget papers do not expect these restrictions to impact Australia’s international borders.