Anzac Day patrons urged to be COVID-safe

·3-min read

Health officials are urging Australians to take COVID-19 precautions at Anzac Day commemorations despite restrictions easing in most states and territories.

With many jurisdictions preparing for the return of full-scale Anzac Day services after two COVID-disrupted years, Victoria's health department has shared risk-mitigation tips.

It recommends patrons wear a mask when unable to physically distance, particularly in crowds or indoor environments.

Those who are symptomatic are encouraged to stay home and get tested, while people meeting indoors pre- or post-service should open doors and windows to maximise air flow.

"As important as the Anzac Day march and our dawn services are, there may be elderly and vulnerable people there we need to protect," Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton's daily COVID-19 update read on Sunday.

Seven-day isolation for close contacts is no longer mandatory in NSW or Victoria as daily case numbers plateau or dip amid the current Omicron sub-variant wave.

Household contact quarantine rules will be ditched in the ACT after Anzac Day, while Queensland is moving to scrap quarantine for unvaccinated international arrivals by Thursday.

South Australia will also drop the requirement for close contact isolation from April 30 but they must take five rapid antigen tests over seven days.

Masks will also be required outside the home, high-risk settings like aged care centres will be off limits and employers and schools will need proof of status.

Vaccination status and check-in requirements for social and sporting venues are being wound back in Victoria, although mandates for workers in multiple industries have been retained.

NSW is shifting to a risk assessment model, with household contacts of positive cases no longer needing to isolate for seven days, so long as they continue to test negative.

They should still work from home where possible and avoid high-risk settings.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee says it would be appropriate to drop some stricter restrictions, once the current wave of infections has peaked.

But authorities also warn infection rates may spike as restrictions ease.

Almost 34,000 new COVID-19 cases have been recorded across Australia along with 22 deaths on Sunday, pushing the national toll since the start of the pandemic past 7000.

Some 7004 Australians have lost their lives to coronavirus, with NSW and Victoria accounting for four out of five deaths.

A teenager was among three COVID-related deaths reported in WA on Sunday, as Premier Mark McGowan's child recovers from home with the virus after being released from hospital.

LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA FROM ACROSS AUSTRALIA:

NSW: 11,107 cases, eight deaths, 1588 in hospital, 64 in ICU

Victoria: 7104 cases, two deaths, 438 in hospital, 33 in ICU

WA: 6085 cases, three deaths, 239 in hospital, eight in ICU

Queensland: 4894 cases, three deaths, 474 in hospital, 14 in ICU

SA: 2816 cases, five deaths, 256 in hospital, 11 in ICU

Tasmania: 936 cases, one death, 49 in hospital, one in ICU

ACT: 725 cases, no deaths, 58 in hospital, three in ICU

NT: 318 cases, no deaths, 50 in hospital, one in ICU

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