Signs show the social distancing requirements for commuters using public transport in Sydney (Image: AAP /Dean Lewins)

A MEASURED RESPONSE

One of the brains behind the Doherty Institute modelling which informed our roadmap out of COVID says: it’s time to cool it — a bit. Jodie McVernon confirmed to Guardian Australia that she was working with governments to tone down public health responses which we used through the first three waves, saying we have access to vaccines and contact tracing is less important now. It’s the “frog in the kettle”, she reasoned. “We lose sight of how much everything escalated as we moved more into the position of zero community transmission and had to deal with Delta and all these other things that have been heightening risks over time”.

Happily, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a decline in new global COVID-19 cases, The New Daily says, for the first time in more than two months. There were 3.6 million cases last week, down from 4 million the week before. There’s also been a 7% decline in deaths, WHO adds. The US, India, Britain, Turkey, and the Philippines are seeing the most cases at the moment. It comes as Australia’s international borders are on track to open by December (to the vaccinated), ABC reports, as long as 80% of over 16s are fully vaccinated by then. The international vaccine passport (which shows your vaccination status) will be different to your domestic one (which allows you to enter businesses), however — they’ll be two separate apps on your phone. NSW’s will look like this, while the software’s trial will begin in October.

HOLDING OUT FOR A ZERO

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the US we will work towards a goal of net zero after President Joe Biden warned climate change was rapidly approaching “a point of no return”. Morrison has continually declined to commit Australia to net zero by 2050, but in a characteristic tongue-twister, said “In Australia, it’s not enough to have a commitment to something — you’ve got to have a plan to achieve it … You have a plan to meet your commitment. If you don’t have a plan, you don’t have a commitment”, as The Australian ($) reports. Morrison is yet to publicly present a plan on how we will reach net-zero emissions. China — the world’s largest carbon emitter — said their emissions will begin to decline by 2030 and that they’ll reach net zero before 2060.