What is the new COVID-19 isolation period?
From Friday, September 9, people who have tested positive for COVID-19 will only need to isolate for five days instead of seven days.
But that’s only if they have no symptoms.
“If you have symptoms, we want people to stay home,” Mr Albanese said.
And the new rule doesn’t apply to everyone.
People who work in high-risk settings with vulnerable people — such as workers in aged care homes and the disability care sector — will still have to isolate for seven days.
Will the isolation be reduced again?
It sounds like it.
Mr Albanese said the five-day period would be reassessed “at some time in the future”.
“Gradually, as we come to deal with COVID over a long period of time, we need to ensure that the mechanisms that have been put in place by government … that we reassess them at an appropriate time,” he said.
What are the isolation rules again?
If it’s been a while, here’s what the Department of Health says.
- Not leaving home or our isolation location, except in an emergency or to get essential medical care
- Not going into public places including work and shops
- Not letting another person into the home unless the person:
- 1.lives there and cannot live somewhere else
- is providing medical care for you
- is entering for an emergency
What about face masks?
From Friday, September 9, face masks will no longer be required on domestic flights.
But there was no mention of the mask mandates some states and territories have for public transport or high-risk settings.
What do health experts say?
Professor Adrian Esterman, chair of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of South Australia, said half of people with COVID-19 were still infectious on day five, and a quarter were infectious on day seven.
He says a sensible approach is to do what the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control does with testing before ending isolation.
“It isn’t based on days, it’s based on test results,” he told the ABC.
“Here, [deciding] to simply reduce it to five days [with no testing], that’s not sensible because you will have 50 per cent of people released out of isolation that are infectious.”