Australia’s National Cabinet has announced it will scrap mandatory Covid-19 isolation rules in a move that all but signals a final closing chapter to the pandemic.
Mandates will remain in place for some hospital and aged care workers but will be dropped elsewhere from October 14.
“We want to have measures that are proportionate and targeted,” Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday.
“The pandemic leave disaster payments will end at that time as well, (October 14) with the exception of people in high-risk settings, which need to be given particular support.”
Australians are currently required to isolate for five days if they test positive to the virus.
While the decision brings about a closing chapter to strict pandemic rules, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly warned that despite scrapping the mandatory COVID-19 isolation period, the battle with the virus isn’t over.
“It does not in any way suggest that the pandemic is finished,’’ Professor Kelly said.
“We will almost certainly see future peaks of the virus into the future, as we have seen earlier in this year.”
“It is time to move away from COVID exceptionalism, in my view, and thinking about what we should do to protect people from any respiratory disease.”