Leaders meet to discuss isolation changes

Central Western Daily, 31 August 2022

National cabinet will meet to discuss shortening the COVID-19 isolation time from seven to five days amid a push from state premiers.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will host his state and territory counterparts in Sydney on Wednesday where NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will call for a nationally consistent approach.

"Instead of the six states and two territories going different ways we're trying to get everyone on the same page," Mr Albanese said on Tuesday.
But the prime minister acknowledged the decision on isolation rules ultimately fell to premiers and chief ministers.

Mr Albanese was questioned at the National Press Club about whether he would be in a position to announce the shortening of isolation rules this week.

Asked if South Sydney Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook would still be "in iso come Friday", the prime minister responded: "That, essentially, is a decision for Premier Perrottet".

The NRL player tested positive to COVID-19 on Saturday.

Health Services Union secretary Gerard Hayes has called for the virus to be treated as any other infectious disease.

Mr Hayes says the government needs to get ahead of the curve so people can live with COVID rather than ignoring rules they see as an imposition.

He said it should be a "transparent, inclusive approach".

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton says the nation is moving into a phase where there would be shorter isolation periods.

"The arrangements otherwise that were in place at the height of COVID will start to unwind, and I think that's what the community expects," he said on Tuesday.

It comes as Australia recorded 77 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday amid more than 12,000 new cases.