Anthony Albanese confirms major change to Covid isolation policy

·3-min read

The mandatory isolation period for positive Covid-19 cases has been reduced from seven to five days.

The decision follows the latest national cabinet meeting between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and state and territory leaders.

The reduction in the isolation period will take effect from September 9.

People will be able to leave isolation after five days provided they have no symptoms.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan at a press conference after a National Cabinet meeting at Parliament House. Source: AAP
The decision follows the latest national cabinet meeting between Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and state and territory leaders. Source: AAP

Seven days of isolation will still apply for worker in high-risk settings such as aged and disability care.

"On the weight of evidence, this was a proportionate response, at this point in the pandemic," Mr Albanese told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday evening.

"What we want to do is to make sure that government responds to the changed circumstances, that Covid likely is going to be around for a considerable period of time, and we need to respond appropriately to it."

The paid pandemic leave eligibility period will also change from September 9 to reflect the shorter isolation period.

National cabinet has also agreed to remove mask mandates for travellers on domestic flights.

Paid pandemic leave to end in September

The extension of the paid pandemic leave is still set to expire at the end of September.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said Australians should not expect emergency pandemic payments to go on forever.

"The reality ... is that kind of support can't continue forever (and) it's also contingent on some of the other ways that we're responding to this health and economic challenge," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Members of the public sit at outdoors dining areas in the central business district (CBD) of Sydney. Source: AAP
The extension of the paid pandemic leave is still set to expire at the end of September. Source: AAP

The meeting also heard from acting chief medical officer Michael Kidd on how future Covid waves would be able to be handled.

Mr Albanese said the decision to reduce the isolation period was based on evidence, which will continue to be assessed.

National cabinet will meet virtually in a fortnight and then face to face on September 30.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the community expected arrangements put in place at the height of the pandemic to be unwound over time.

Latest 24-hour Covid data:

  • Victoria: 2857 cases, 26 deaths, 333 in hospital with 20 in ICU

  • NSW: 5434 cases, 22 deaths, 1802 in hospital with 38 in ICU

  • Tasmania: 269 cases, three deaths (including two historical), 28 in hospital with two in ICU

  • ACT: 236 cases, no deaths, 90 in hospital with two in ICU

  • Queensland: 2294 cases, 14 deaths, 316 in hospital with 10 in ICU

  • SA: 639 cases, three deaths, 116 in hospital with six in ICU

  • WA: 1380 cases, one death, 228 in hospital with six in ICU

  • NT: 123 cases, no deaths, 20 in hospital with no one in ICU

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.