Government needs to support isolation changes

Government needs to support isolation changes

The Andrews Labor Government needs to urgently overhaul its Covid isolation requirements as a growing number of workers in South West Coast are furloughed.

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said feedback from businesses in her electorate showed that between 20-40 per cent of staff were currently in isolation either with Covid or as close contacts.

“We are seeing more and more small businesses who have either been forced to shut or have drastically cut their hours because they can’t get enough staff,” she said.

“South West Healthcare has already pivoted by changing its protocols to allow staff to work even if they are close contacts of a positive case, providing they have had a negative rapid antigen test.”

Ms Britnell said the government needed to implement a similar policy more broadly for essential workers.

“Our supermarket shelves are becoming barer as the isolation requirements hit our supply chain hard, and the same goes for critical healthcare workers,” she said.

“Having those essential workers exempt from the current isolation rules, provided they return a negative RAT, makes sense.”

National Cabinet is reportedly set to discuss the changes at a meeting on Monday afternoon with the Queensland and NSW governments having already adopted the policy change.

“I urge the Andrews Labor Government to support these changes at National Cabinet today to ensure our supply chain is able to keep up with demand and workers in our essential services are able to continue working if they return negative RAT’s,” Ms Britnell said.

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