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Report – Begin To End The Lockdown By Removing Petty Restrictions

Written by
16 April 2020

“The National Cabinet should begin to end the lockdown by removing the most petty social and economic restrictions,” said Morgan Begg, Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.

New analysis released today by the IPA has highlighted the petty restrictions enacted by the Australian states and inconsistencies between them that have either banned or left in doubt many recreational activities, which can be undertaken while attempting social distancing.

National Cabinet is set to meet today to discuss a possible relaxation of restrictions.

“Recreational activities and family gatherings should be allowed with appropriate social distancing of 1.5 metres.

The IPA calls for states to adopt the South Australian approach to visiting immediate family, which allow family gatherings of more than two people as long as 1.5 metre social distancing is maintained

“Under public health emergency powers, the states have granted themselves extraordinary powers to control the day-to-day lives of Australians. Unfortunately, there has been little debate or scrutiny in parliament about how these directives are defined or enforced,” said Mr Begg.

“Restrictions on family and recreational activities that can be undertaken while maintaining appropriate social distancing should be removed.”

“The draconian approach by governments risks creating a much bigger economic and humanitarian crisis than that caused by the virus itself. Australians want and need hope, for some people that is visiting an immediate family member, for others its going for a walk with friends.”

To maintain public trust in the legitimate restrictions the National Cabinet has imposed on the lives of Australians, petty restrictions on family and recreational activities must be removed,” said Mr Begg.

Download the report: States of Emergency – An Analysis Of Covid-19 Petty Restrictions.

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Morgan Begg

Morgan Begg is the Director, Legal Rights Program at the Institute of Public Affairs

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