With case numbers expected to peak in coming weeks, the Prime Minister has made a major call about future lockdowns.
Australia will “push through” the Omicron peak rather than lock down again, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed.
Cases have surged across the country, with more than half a million active cases in Australia at the moment.
Some, including the federal opposition, have accused the government of entering a “let it rip” stage of the pandemic.
Meanwhile some states and territories have reimposed restrictions in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, but Mr Morrison said despite the high number of cases, Australia would make the “tough choice” to soldier on.
“You’ve got two choices here – you can push through or you can get locked out. We’re for pushing through,” Mr Morrison said on Monday.
“You get through to the other side and it’s going to be tough, the whole pandemic has been tough and Australians have shown the resilience and patience and the determination.
“The best possible medical advice is to push through.”
Mr Morrison said Omicron had “changed everything”, but that the government was continuing to “sensibly listen” to the medical advice to ensure Australia could “keep moving forward”.
“My government is for keeping Australia open and pushing through,” he said.
Mr Morrison said Omicron cases would continue to increase across all jurisdictions – except for WA – until reaching a peak, as had been demonstrated in South Africa where the variant emerged.
“We will have a similar experience (to South Africa). You push through, you don’t lock down,” he said.
“What we do know about Omicron is that if you’re not there (at the peak) yet, you will be there (soon).”