Australia’s FINALLY cuts ridiculous Covid isolation rules from seven days to five – and removes mandatory masks on planes
- Australia to axe mandatory masks Covid isolation rules from seven days to five
- Isolation periods will be cut for those who have no symptoms from September 9
- Mandatory masks on domestic flights to be abolished on the same date
- Workers in high-risk settings still required to stay home for full seven days
Australia will reduce its mandatory Covid isolation period from seven days to five and mandatory masks on planes will be abolished, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced.
National cabinet met on Wednesday and agreed isolation periods will be cut for Covid sufferers who have no symptoms from Friday, September 9.
There are some exceptions. Symptomatic patients have been told to stay home and workers in ‘high risk’ settings such as aged, disability and home care will be required to stay home for a full seven days.
Paid pandemic leave payments will continue for the five day period with mandatory masks on domestic flights will be abolished from the same date.
‘We want people to stay home. We want people to act responsibly,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘We had a discussion about people looking after each other. People looking after their own health, being responsible for the and making sure that they look up to each other.’
Australia will reduce its mandatory Covid isolation period from seven days to five and mandatory masks on planes will be abolished (pictured, a masked woman in Bondi, Sydney)
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured at the Press Club on Wednesday) said the changes to Covid rules would take effect from Friday, September 9
The prime minister said he and the state and territory leaders had decided the changes were a ‘proportionate response at this point in the pandemic’.
‘We had a discussion about people looking after each other, people looking after their own health and being responsible for that… there aren’t mandated requirements for the flu or a range of other illnesses,’ he said.
‘What we want to do is to make sure that government responds to the changed circumstances, that Covid is going to be around for a considerable period of time.’
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Wednesday urged his state counterparts to consider reducing the isolation period ahead of the cabinet meeting.
Mr Perrottet said Covid rules across Australia needed to be ‘national harmony’.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured) on Wednesday urged his state counterparts to consider reducing the isolation period ahead of the cabinet meeting
Mandatory masks on domestic flights will be abolished from September 9 (pictured, passengers and crew on a domestic flight in September, 2020)
NEW COVID ISOLATION RULES
– If you test positive to Covid, you can leave isolation after five days if you don’t have any symptoms.
– Those who work in vulnerable settings, including aged and disability care, must still avoid work for seven days
– If after five days, you’re still sick and showing symptoms, you must isolate for a further two days.
– Masks are no longer required on domestic flights in Australia
This all comes into effect from September 9
‘Clearly, if you have symptoms, we want people to stay home,’ Anthony Albanese said.
‘We want people to act responsibly. Seven days isolation will remain for workers in high-risk settings including aged care, disability care, and home care.’
The premier called for a shift in mindset away from ignoring symptoms and ‘soldiering on’ to taking responsibility and staying home when sick.
‘We need to be moving away from a ‘soldier on’ mentality when you are sick to a situation where you respect others and accept that when you are sick you stay at home,’ Mr Perrottet told the Sydney Morning Herald.
A five-day isolation period was discussed at the last cabinet meeting but failed to get the green light from Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly.
‘The advice that is there from the Chief Medical Officer, Professor (Paul) Kelly, was that now is certainly not the time for that to be reconsidered,’ Mr Albanese told Adelaide radio station FIVEAAon July 18.
Most Australian states and territories relaxed isolation requirements from 14 to seven days at the end of last year (pictured, masked flight attendants on a Qantas flight in September, 2021)
The prime minister flagged the future of the $750 pandemic isolation payment would be discussed at the next cabinet meeting in a few weeks time.
Most Australian states and territories relaxed isolation requirements from 14 to seven days at the end of last year as the first Omicron wave increasingly sidelined workers, constraining services, businesses and supply chains.
The United States now recommends a five-day isolation period for Covid-positive cases, while infected people in the UK are not legally obligated to self-isolate.
Australia reported more than 13,000 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday.