Mandatory isolation ends, along with payment of pandemic leave, after the national cabinet meeting

“The pandemic is not over yet,” he said.

His wife Anne, who works in the medical field, said she was pleased that those in her field would still have to isolate if they were ill, but worried about other people who would not or could not stay home if they were unwell.

She didn’t have the virus but did have four shots. She said she was still concerned about the risks she would face if the isolation period was reduced.

Another person who expressed concern about the move was Melbourne’s father, George Thomas.

He and his wife had their three children in tow in tow on Friday, and he said the family has been lucky so far to avoid the virus.

“I think you may be interacting with people who may have COVID and they just chose not to isolate and so are obviously infecting others,” he said.

“It would be sad if I was interacting with someone who is positive and not isolating them.”

George Thomas was concerned his family could catch Covid.

George Thomas was concerned his family could catch Covid. Recognition:Eddie Jim

He was particularly concerned about how it might affect his family if his kids brought it back from school, as isolation wasn’t mandatory.

“We have grandparents who are quite old and have issues that could be made worse by COVID.”

Northcote woman Eve Urban said the rules had become “very confusing” and it was difficult to know which sources to trust for information.

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“I have very mixed feelings about it,” she said of the end of the isolation period.

She listened to former ATAGI co-chair Allan Cheng, who she said was “very trustworthy” and wasn’t a fan of scrapping the isolation period.

“I used to work in a place where so many were unemployed [because of COVID]and it’s really difficult, so I get that difficulty, but I don’t think we’re quite on top of COVID yet,” she said.

Sunshine Coast couple Julie and Kerry Bowd are spending six weeks in Melbourne but had the virus a few months ago and were wary of people unknowingly spreading it.

Ross Valerkou, Ash Simpson, Jo Simpson and Silka Valerkou were divided on whether scrapping mandatory isolation and COVID payments was the right way to go.

Ross Valerkou, Ash Simpson, Jo Simpson and Silka Valerkou were divided on whether scrapping mandatory isolation and COVID payments was the right way to go.Recognition:Eddie Jim

Ross Valerkou, 48, was a little more relaxed as he enjoyed Friday night drinks on Southbank. He said he thought the time was right to start treating COVID-19 like any other disease and wanted the government to start saving money by ending pandemic furlough payments.

“Now it’s almost gone. It’s time to get over it,” he said. “It’s very expensive practice for a problem that’s almost gone.”

However, Silka Valerkou and Jo Simpson – who both work in the education sector – were keen for the mandatory isolation period to remain in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“There are still vulnerable people. We’re not all iron men like you!” Silka said to Ross.

The business world was less hesitant. The chief executive of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Paul Guerra, welcomed the national cabinet’s decision.

“This is great news for everyone in Australia. This is great news for companies,” he said.

“Ultimately, we can now join the rest of the world in waving goodbye to COVID.”

“That means we can now take matters into our own hands. If we’re not feeling well, we stay at home. Otherwise, carry on and let’s make Australia grow again.”

The national view was similar, with companies in Australia welcoming the policy change on Friday.

Industry groups argued that mandatory isolation had contributed to severe labor shortages across the country.

“The ultimate goal has always been that Covid be treated like any other virus and that people are responsible for their own health – if you are sick stay at home, but if you are well you should be able to go According to their businesses,” said Paul Zahra, chief executive officer of the Australian Retailers Association.

Australian Chamber of Commerce chief Andrew McKellar said the decision marked a watershed moment for Australia but acknowledged businesses needed to remain vigilant to the virus.

“Employers should recognize the greater responsibility if we see an increase in the number of cases. An increase in staff absenteeism cannot be afforded when the labor shortage is already so acute,” he said.

Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott said Australia needs to “move with the rest of the world” in tackling the virus.

“Australians want to get on with their lives and that means taking personal responsibility for their health choices,” she said.

The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/victorians-have-their-say-on-the-scrapping-of-covid-19-isolation-rules-20220930-p5bmay.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national Mandatory isolation ends, along with payment of pandemic leave, after the national cabinet meeting

Joel McCord

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