Nation's Leaders Agree On National Definition Of Close Contact

As country nears 20,000 cases

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Australia’s leaders have agreed upon an official and nationwide definition of a Covid close contact.

Follow a surge in Covid case numbers nationwide, Australia’s leaders called an emergency national cabinet meeting to work out an appropriate response to Omicron.

As of today, the nation has a recorded nearly 20,000 new Covid cases, a large portion of these cases confirmed to be the Omicron variant. 

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In response to the influx of cases, the nation’s leaders have come up with a nationally consistent definition of ‘close contact’.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall this afternoon confirmed that a close contact would now be classified as a person who has been in contact with a confirmed case inside of a household or household-like setting for four hours or more. 

Those who are considered a close contact will only be required to quarantine for a maximum of seven days. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed when the new definition would be coming into effect. 

"Today, we agreed on a new definition of close contact that requires testing and isolation. It will come into effect five jurisdictions at midnight tonight,”

- Prime Minister Scott Morrison

"It will come into effect in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and here in the ACT.

"Tasmania will follow on January 1, and the Northern Territory and Western Australia will be making announcements, particularly the Northern Territory, in the next few days to confirm how they will be moving to these new definitions."

Prime Minister Morrison goes on to explain what tests will be required of any close contacts from midnight tonight.

“… You are only a close contact if you are, effectively, living with someone or have been in an accommodation setting with someone for more than four hours with someone who has actually got Covid,”

- Prime Minister Scott Morrison

"... Someone who actually has COVID, from the date that they would took the test, they would have to isolate for seven days and have a negative rapid test, a rapid antigen test, on day six, prior to being able to leave isolation after seven days.

"A closer contact that is symptomatic must have a PCR test, still.

"So, if you are symptomatic, and that goes for anyone who is symptomatic, by the way, if you are symptomatic, then the right test is a PCR test."

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Georgie Marr

30 December 2021

Article by:

Georgie Marr

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