NSW And Victoria Set To Ease Covid Isolation Rules In Tandem
Business community celebrate
Two of Australia's biggest states are set to abolish COVID isolation rules as early as this weekend.
Once scrapped, residents in NSW and Victoria will no longer have to isolate for seven days if someone in their household tests positive.
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Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said on Monday that the state has passed to peak of the latest OMICRON wave suggesting isolation and mask rules would soon be wound back.
“The seven-day average, very pleasingly, is coming down,” he said. “I’m not the chief health officer, but that says to me that the peak has come and gone."
“We just have to wait and see though, that those few days of data turn into the trend that we hope it is.”
"I think you'll see some movement there very, very soon and you'll see the health minister make some very positive announcements very, very soon," the Victorian premier boasted.
The imminent abolishment of Victoria’s contentious vaccine economy, means unvaccinated patrons will soon be welcomed back to cafes, pubs and restaurants, bringing the state into line with NSW's long-standing policy.
Meanwhile, the NSW Covid and Economic Committee met on Tuesday to reexamine health requirements as Covid numbers continue to decline across the state.
With close contact isolation rules set to change, business groups are celebrating, following crippling labour shortages with healthy staff being relegated to self isolate, despite being asymptomatic.
“We’d welcome any change to the isolation rules to enable perfectly healthy people to be able to go back to work if they are a close contact, so long as they produce a negative result to a RAT,” a Business NSW spokesman told the SMH.
“It’s blatantly unfair that some workers in some industries have been able to work despite being close contacts, while others have not, causing huge disruptions to small businesses in particular who have had to close down operations due to being short staffed.”
“This is about getting the economy moving again and allowing businesses to be able to plan with confidence," the spokesperson said.
An announcement from NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and his Victorian counterpart is expected within days.
But leading medical experts are warning against Covid complacency.
Dr Chris Moy from the Australian Medical Association warns "the virus is still there".
"There is no evidence that there will be this thing called heard-immunity where just having so many who've had it, or have been vaccinated the virus will disappear, and stop it moving through the community like other viruses" he said.
Earlier in the week, Dr Moy alerted of the consequences of complacency as more reports cases are coming through of people who had contracted the virus more than once.
"There's definitely clear data now that people are getting re-infected, even as close as three weeks apart," he said. "We just need to make sure we don't relax in terms of the vaccination and the boosters."
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