Time to ease close-contact isolation for Vic and NSW

The Victorian Chamber and Business NSW have united to call for isolation requirements for household close contacts to be eased for Australia’s two largest economies.

19 April 2022

Under the current rules, household contacts of a positive COVID-19 case must undergo seven days of isolation regardless of their test result in most workplaces.

The Victorian Chamber and Business NSW would like to see this amended so household contacts undergo daily Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) before they go out in public or to work. If they test negative and are feeling well, then they should be permitted to attend work as normal.

This will ease the burden on businesses that are having difficulties with staffing due to the current requirements and allow both States to continue their economic recoveries.

“Access to staff continues to be a major issue for business and the current isolation requirements are making it difficult for them to provide service for customers and maximise their business opportunities, " Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra said. 

“We are seeing other parts of the world moving ahead with revised requirements, and we can use that experience to our advantage. We need to release the handbrake and enable businesses to operate at the maximum capacity possible and lead our economic recovery.”

Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter agreed, adding, “NSW and Victoria have led the way for Australia with very high vaccination rates and demonstrated a capacity to live and work with COVID-19.

“NSW and Victoria are Australia’s biggest economies and the current isolation rules are providing a barrier to businesses as healthy people are forced to isolate unnecessarily.

“With NSW airport workers currently having an exemption to the household contact rules, there is inconsistency and unfairness – this needs to be fixed so that all businesses can have fair access to workers in the current tight labour market and be open for business.

“Business needs certainty and we know that they are already struggling with supply chain issues and staff shortages. Let’s give them the opportunity they need to continue their recovery and let’s give it to them now.”

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