NSW and Victoria are poised to scrap the requirement for household contacts of people with COVID-19 to isolate.
Business leaders have been calling for the end of the seven-day isolation rule, saying it will ease staff shortages for businesses trying to recover from the pandemic.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant will address the media on Wednesday morning after the COVID and Economic Recovery Committee met on Tuesday evening to consider easing the rules.
COVID cases in NSW dropped to 10,856 on Tuesday, with Victoria recording 8976 cases, as Premier Daniel Andrews said isolation rules and other COVID-19 restrictions could be scrapped after the peak of the Omicron wave.
A few more days of data was needed to confirm the falling seven-day case trend, he said.
“That gives us options in terms of getting rid of the very few remaining rules that we have, and I think you’ll see some movement there very, very soon,” he told reporters in Wangaratta on Tuesday.
Clinical epidemiologist and head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, Nancy Baxter says a quarter-to-half of people who have a household contact with COVID, will likely contract the virus.
“We need to protect people from those households contacts if we’re allowing them to leave home without isolation,” she told ABC TV on Wednesday.
“You’d want them to do RATs, you’d want them in masks and not just in any mask, in a high-quality mask like a P2 or N95,” she said.
Employers should be required to keep those people isolated or physically distanced from other workers “because there’s going to be a high-risk of getting it into the workplace for these people”, she said.