At today’s National Cabinet meeting in Canberra, the First Ministers agreed to end mandatory isolation for COVID-19 effective 14 October.
In addition, they agreed to end the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment on the same date. A targeted financial support scheme based on the PLDP will continue for workers in aged care, disability care, Aboriginal healthcare and hospital care sectors and funded equally between Commonwealth and States and Territories.
Concerns have been raised by health leaders, organisations and the general public about the impact removing mandatory COVID isolation will have on the already strained healthcare system, aged care and people who will be hardest hit by the decision.
This is a rolling post of reactions and statements about the decision. **Note, this article has been updated on 3 October with additional reactions.
National Cabinet outlined six principles the decision was based on:
- minimising the level of severe COVID-19 and death, including through ensuring measures are effective, proportionate and targeted wherever possible for the most vulnerable and at risk populations;
- ensuring the health, economic and social systems as a whole have the capacity and capability to respond to future waves;
- promoting and creating an environment that mitigates pandemic fatigue and generates self-reliance, resilience and capacity building which reduces the reliance on government interventions;
- continue to promote the importance of vaccinations, including boosters, to improve health outcomes;
- supporting the economic and social well-being of those living in Australia; and
- returning funding and policy efforts to a more sustainable footing, including for business and individual supports, aged care and health funding
Read the statement from Australian Nursing Midwifery Foundation here.
Read ACOSS’ thread here.
Read OzSage statement here.
Read Dr Monique Ryan MP’s full letter here.
Listen to Professor Brendan Crabb here.
See Croakey’s extensive archive of articles on COVID