Thousands of Australians are still getting COVID-19 each day, even as the nation’s governments want to wind back isolation requirements and reduce the reliance on PCR testing.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is urgently reviewing both changes following the decisions made at last Friday’s national cabinet meeting.
NSW reported a further 13,093 new infections along on Sunday, with a further seven virus-related deaths.
In Victoria there were 5192 new cases and four deaths, while the ACT had 649 infections.
The death toll since the pandemic began is 5582.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison believes quarantine requirements are starving businesses of staff, and scrapping the need to isolate for extended periods will help the nation’s economic recovery.
Rather than a specified time frame, otherwise healthy people with mild respiratory illnesses will instead be encouraged to undertake voluntary self-isolation only while symptomatic.
Mr Morrison predicted a challenging winter, with COVID-19 cases and influenza likely to have an effect.
The government has set aside $2.1 billion to prepare for winter, including $1.2 billion to help protect residential aged care and disability care sectors, $356 million to protect vulnerable population groups and a further $571 million for vaccines.
The government is also deciding on plans to handle a new and potentially more transmissible sub-variant of Omicron.