Premiers have no Joyce but to deliver promised Christmas
As the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus runs rampant in European cities and Australia pursues living with the virus, Omicron survivor and deputy PM Barnaby Joyce has joined federal health minister Hunt's calls for a relatively normal, familiar Christmas celebration
Speaking to reporters about the prospects of lockdowns being reintroduced in Australia with cases increasing across multiple states and with the threat of the Omicron variant’s high transmissibility, Hunt said he was hopeful Australia’s current circumstances were favourable in comparison to Europe.
“We’re going into summer, we have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, and a very different set of circumstances.
“We don’t see that’s a likely situation in Australia.”
“The direction of Australia is overwhelmingly towards opening up.”
The developments come as the leader of the federal government's National Party coalition partner, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, expressed his frustration with the threat the Omicron strain brings to citizens globally when it comes to the prospect of society halting again.
Joyce contracted the Omicron variant during an overseas trip to Europe and the US and said the world needed to continue progressing even when cases and new strains were prevalent in communities.
"It was really mild, a couple of days and the rest of the time you had the virus, you didn't feel sick. And that is one of the frustrations.”
Joyce has received two doses of TGA-approved COVID-19 vaccines and received clearance to depart from a hotel in Washington DC, where he has been in quarantine, to return to Australia.