National Cabinet Meeting Brought Forward Amid Omicron Surge
Scott Morrison says the national cabinet will meet on Thursday, aimed toward establishing a nation-wide definition of what's deemed a 'close contact' among other points.
While the close contact ruling is on the agenda, change also looms for isolation requirements as case numbers surge and testing queues lengthen.
Reports from Canberra say only those who are living with a confirmed COVID-19 case would be classified a close contact, which will be proposed at the meeting.
Morrison wants to define the close contact ruling to someone who has spent at least four hours in a home or age-care facility with a positive case.
"A household contact is someone who lives with or in a care setting and has spent more than four hours with them," Morrison said.
"So we’re talking about someone living with them."
The Prime Minister will meet with state leaders after Australia registered more than 18,000 new daily cases.
Morrison said - as an example - you would not be forced into isolation if you eat a restaurant and it is later determined a COVID case was present.
"We can't have everybody just being taken out of circulation because they just happen to be at a particular place at a particular time," he said.
"The uncertainty of that, the impacts on the economy, and particularly given the fact we are not seeing this impact on our hospital system means that it's an impractical way to live with the virus in this next phase."
The Federal Government are also expected to fund mass supply of rapid antigen tests, as the threat of the Omicron virus moves to a new phase.