Prime Minister Scott Morrison will push for national COVID-19 hotspot definition that would use a “traffic light” system to determine travel.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will push for national COVID-19 hotspot definition that would use a “traffic light” system to determine travel.

PM’s push for traffic light hotspot system

A "traffic light" system to determine when travel to an area is open, requires quarantine or is banned could form the basis of a new national COVID-19 hotspot definition.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared there would be a national definition, with or without National Cabinet's backing, in the wake of an incident involving the death of an unborn baby .

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While states cannot be forced to sign-up to a national definition of a hotspot, or when to open or close borders, it will put pressure on them to come together on the issue, which is understood to be again raised at National Cabinet on Friday.

Mr Morrison has indicated the potential for adapting the Denmark system, which uses yellow, orange and red lights to make it clear when travel is open or quarantine is required.

The PM wants to introduce a 'traffic light' hotspot system, similar to what Denmark uses. Picture: Danish Police Politi
The PM wants to introduce a 'traffic light' hotspot system, similar to what Denmark uses. Picture: Danish Police Politi

While specifics would change should a model be adopted in Australia, the Danish system uses yellow to highlight open borders, when cases are below 20 per 100,000 residents in an area, and orange for when quarantine is required when cases are above 30 cases per 100,000 residents in an area.

Red is used when there is a sudden spike in cases, which bans all travel from the restricted area.

"They have a sort of a yellow and orange light system because in Europe people are still moving around. Now, I'm not suggesting this is precisely what we do in Australia," Mr Morrison said.

"They have clear metrics like this and say this goes yellow, and orange and different quarantine arrangements apply or whether you can go there or not go there. I think that's quite a sensible approach.

"Now the specifics of that I'll leave to the medical experts to work out what is the right concentration of cases to represent a hotspot."

Originally published as PM's push for traffic light hotspot system